Choose Kindness!

Today is FRIDAY! January 15, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 22,954

Yesterday was one of those day. One of those “orange” days. But at least this time, there was a reason. Not a good one, mind you. It all started with Facebook. Go figure. Read something that I disagreed with. If that wasn’t enough, I read the comments. Then there were little things at work that aggravated the already souring mood.

But at one point, I stopped and cried out to God. The slide was arrested. The day was still a struggle, but it got gradually better. Then, about thirty minutes before time to go home, I returned to my workstation to find a little note that someone had made on a label maker.

“Have a blessed day, Jeff!”

A dear friend had stealthily blessed me.

God and I had a conversation on the way home from work. Some progress was definitely made, and maybe even a decision or two. More on that, when it’s more firm.

I finished a book, yesterday. It was number 17 in The Dresden Files series, by Jim Butcher. Battle Ground. It was pretty fierce. And it made me cry at the end. Actually, it also made me cry in the middle, too. Part of this was because I really thought (although why, I’m not sure) that this was the last book in the series. But I checked the author’s Internet site and he has an estimated eight more planned. And that’s good, because there were definitely some loose ends to tie up at the end of this one. I’ll be posting a review, this weekend on my other blog.


You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
(Hebrews 13:15 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • That it is Friday!
  • For the peace that passes understanding
  • For Your unfailing love
  • For the baptism of fire (Luke 3)
  • For the opportunity to choose kindness over evil
  • That someone chose kindness to me, yesterday
  • That You called me out of darkness, into marvelous light

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



The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.
(Psalms 118:24 NIV)


For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.


The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”


My thoughts, this morning, are captivated by both readings. In Psalm 13, I was especially caught by verse 2. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” Now, I don’t have sorrow in my heart every day, necessarily, but I assure you, I most definitely “wrestle with my thoughts,” pretty much every day. That is what causes those moods like I had yesterday. That is why I’m seeing a therapist.

But I am also looking to God for answers, and Psalm 13 is an excellent passage to pray back to Him. I am, as anyone who has read this blog for very long will know, very much in favor of praying Scripture back to God, especially Psalms. They are, by inspiration, His very words. So why not pray them back to Him?

But then, verse 5 comes along. “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”

Yes. Amen. So be it.

In the other passage, which is almost the same as the passage read yesterday, the word “fire” catches my attention.

All John can do is immerse in water. But One is coming; One who has more power than John. Water can only wash off the outside dirt. But the Holy Spirit has access to the heart and soul, our very being. And fire, used in the casting of precious metals, melts down the metal, separates it from the “dross,” or impurities, and allows it to be molded into a different shape.

But then the fire has a different purpose. The “chaff” is the hull of the wheat, that which is inedible. The fire that cleanses, purifies, and helps to mold us, will burn up and consume the chaff.

Father, I thank You that, when I wrestle with my thoughts, I can bring them to You, praying Your own words back to You. I pray for this constant immersion in the Holy Spirit, and that You would continuously “baptize” me with fire, always cleansing the dross from my heart and my soul. All glory to You, Lord!

"Holy God,
you promised the renewing presence of the Holy Spirit,
and today I ask you to fill me again.
Renew my life,
deepen in me a humble repentance for my sins,
and empower me to pursue a holy life.
May your beauty in my life
be obvious to all.
(Heidelberg Catechism 70)


The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
(Romans 8:15-16 NIV)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:21 NIV)

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
(Proverbs 31:12 NLT)

Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.
(John 5:29 NLT)

She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?
(1 Timothy 5:10 NLT)

Every day, we have multiple choices to make. Will we choose kindness? Or will we choose to be unkind? I daresay, I have made both choices multiple times, throughout the day.

Yesterday, a friend chose kindness in leaving that little note for me. It blessed my soul, and it completed the turnaround from the morning’s mood.

We have the ability and opportunity to be kind to someone today, and to have a drastic impact (we never know how much that can be) on their life.

Choose kindness.

Holy Spirit, help me to choose kindness today. Every time.

Jonathan Cahn, in today’s reading, discusses something that I have been fascinated with for a number of years. That being the difference between the Western day and the Hebrew day.

Our day, in the West, is typically though of as going from day to night. Our “day” begins in the morning and ends in the night.

But the Hebrew day began at sunset. Why? Look at Genesis, friends. When God created the world (and this is not a debate about how long it took), “evening and morning were the first day.”

Words are important. Evening came first. Thus, the Hebrew day begins at sundown.

Says Cahn, “The children of this world live from day to night. But the children of God live from night to day. They are born again in the darkness and move to the day. And if you belong to God, then that is the order of your life. You are to go from darkness to light, from weakness to strength, from despair to hope, from guilt to innocence, from tears to joy, and from death to life. And every night in your life will lead to the dawn. So live according to God’s sacred order of time . . . that your entire life be always moving away from the darkness and to the light.”

The Mission: What darkness is in your life, the darkness of fear, of sin, of problems, of gloom? Today, turn away from it and to the light of day.”

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.
(Genesis 1:3-5 NLT)

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
(Psalms 30:5 NLT)

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!
(Ephesians 5:8 NLT)

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9 NLT)

Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.
(2 Peter 1:19 NLT)

Father, thank You for the truths learned today, and the inspirations that will color and affect my life today. May I constantly live as though moving from darkness to light, as You have called me out of darkness into Your marvelous light!

Lord, I thank You for the calling You have placed on my life, to follow Christ in my home, my neighborhood, and my workplace. Strengthen me to fulfill that calling today. Give us all a better capacity to serve the “common good,” and not just our own desires. I also pray for those who work in service to others would be lifted up and made strong for their daily tasks.

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!

Grace and peace, friends!

My Heart Shall Rejoice

Today is Saturday, January 13, 2018. Day 21,856.

75 days until Opening Day.

Trevor Rabin (Yes), born on this date in 1955, said, “When you listen to a Yes album, you should listen to the whole thing through headphones with the lights off.”
I find myself to be in agreement with that statement. Yes is just one of those kinds of bands. Especially albums like Close To the Edge, or Tales From Topographic Oceans. Here is a live recording of Rabin and Yes performing “Changes.”

Today’s word of the day, from, is pseud, a noun, meaning, “a person of fatuously earnest intellectual, artistic, or social pretensions.” What, you might ask, does “fatuously” mean? I’m glad you asked. I had to look it up. It means, “foolish or inane, especially in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly.”

It’s the weekend! We made our Kroger Click List order last night, and will be going to pick it up in about an hour. That’s my kind of grocery shopping!!

R & J are coming over later, for lunch, and so I can give her her license tag window sticker. I think we will go to Cotton Patch for lunch. Perhaps we will play some games after, or watch something on Netflix. Who knows?

There might be some football games this weekend. I’m not sure. 😀 Actually, out of curiosity, I looked it up. People who know me know that I don’t really follow football. So . . . today, the Falcons play the Eagles. Bird against bird. That’s fitting. I will pull for the Eagles. I like green. In the second game, the Titans play the Patriots. I will root for the Patriots. (Sorry, Mama.) Go ahead and hate Tom Brady if you want to. He’s one of the greatest that’s ever played the game. Plus, if you claim to love America, why wouldn’t you root for a team called “The Patriots?” Hmmmm?? I jest, of course. Tomorrow, first game, Jaguars vs. Steelers. That’s a tough one for me. I like Jaguars. The cats and the cars both. But I have a work associate that is a Steelers fan. I think I’ll still root for the Jags. Tomorrow, second game, Saints and Vikings. Another tough one. I’ve always been partial to the Saints, but I have also always liked the Vikings. Fran Tarkenton and all that, you know. I also have a couple of work associates who like the Saints. I’m not calling that one. I’ll root for both teams. And yes, I can, too, do that.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

I love how this Psalm begins with a kind of lament, but ends with the positive affirmation, “My heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Relationships are important, especially in the body of Christ. We need one another, and we need to build up one another.

(From The Business of Heaven)
The Visible Church

“If He can be known it will be by self-revelation on His part, not by speculation on ours. We, therefore, look for Him where it is claimed that He has revealed Himself by miracle, by inspired teachers, by enjoined ritual. The traditions conflict, yet the longer and more sympathetically we study them the more we become aware of a common element in many of them: the theme of sacrifice, of mystical communion through the shed blood, of death and rebirth, of redemption, is too clear to escape notice. We are fully entitled to use moral and intellectual criticism. What we are not, in my opinion, entitled to do is simply to abstract the ethical element and set that up as a religion on its own. Rather in that tradition which is at once more completely ethical and most transcends mere ethics . . . we may still most reasonably believe that we have the consummation of all religion, the fullest message from the wholly other, the living creator, who, if He is at all, must be the God not only of the philosophers, but of mystics and savages, not only of the head and heart, but also of the primitive emotions and the spiritual heights beyond all emotion. We may . . . attach ourselves to the Church, to the only concrete organization which has preserved down to this present time the core of all the messages, pagan and perhaps pre-pagan, that have ever come from beyond the world, and begin to practise the only religion which rests not upon some selection of certain supposedly ‘higher’ elements in our nature, but on the shattering and rebuilding, the death and rebirth, of that nature in every part: neither Greek nor Jew nor barbarian, but a new creation.” (Religion Without Dogma?)

Father, as this weekend goes by, may we be more in tune with the need for the relationships of which we are part, both familial and spiritual. May our time with our children by exceptional today. May our worship gathering tomorrow focus as much on the relationships with the people who attend as it does on the sermon or the songs. May we find our most special inspiration from the taking of The Supper as a community of faith. You have loved us. Help us to love one another as you love us. And remind us that you love us just as you love your Son, our Savior.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.

Hearing the Call

“Happy is the man whom the Muses love: sweet speech flows from his mouth.”~~Hesiod

Today’s word of the day, from, is lacustrine, “of or relating to a lake.”

Today is Nothing Day. Seriously. I’m not making that up. Just a day to do nothing.

And that’s probably exactly what will happen around here, today, at least for me. I had a pretty rough night, last night. I’ll admit that I did stay up past 1:00 playing Fallout 4. But at some point during that time, my stomach started giving me fits. I went to bed, and tried to go to sleep, but kept feeling quite nauseated. Finally, around 2:45 or so, I got up and made a cup of peppermint tea to try to settle my stomach. I fought the nausea until after 4:00, at which point I went back to bed, and was finally able to fall asleep. I woke up at around 9:30. I know, right?? But, try as I might, I could not fall back asleep. I was actually feeling some hunger, so I think I’m going to live. I’ve had a couple cups of coffee, and things are feeling okay in there.

We do have our grocery shopping to do, today, but, other than that, that’s about it. Obviously, I’m a bit late getting started on this. But Christi and I were going over financial stuff, revisiting the budget.

It was on this date in 1970 that Curt Flood filed the lawsuit against Major League Baseball that would ultimately result in what we know, today, as free agency. Read the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1821–John C. Breckinridge, 14th Vice President of the U.S.
1901–Frank Zamboni, American inventor
1902–Eric Liddell, Scottish runner, inspiration for Chariots of Fire
1908–Ethel Merman, American actress/singer
1910–Dizzy Dean, American baseball player, slud into third
1917–Carl Karcher, founder of Carl’s Jr. hamburger chain
1920–Elliott Reid, American actor
1932–Dian Fossey, American zoologist
1933–Susan Sontag, American writer
1935–A.J. Foyt, American race car driver
1944–Jim Stafford, American singer/songwriter, doesn’t like spiders and snakes
1946–Ronnie Milsap, American singer/songwriter, has daydreams about night things in the middle of the afternoon
1948–John Carpenter, American film director, escaped from New York
1950–Debbie Allen, American dancer/choreographer, sometime judge on So You Think You Can Dance
1959–Sade, Nigerian-born singer, she’s a smooth operator
1970–Garth Ennis, Irish comic book author, Preacher
1974–Kate Moss, English model
1980–Albert Pujols, Dominican baseball player
1985–Joe Flacco, American football player

Dizzy Dean was a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in the thirties. He and his brother “Daffy,” combined for a total of 49 wins in 1934, a year in which the Cardinals won the World Series. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.

Can you tell I miss baseball?

Marshall Field, Carole Lombard, Arturo Toscanini, Ross Bagdasarian (aka David Seville), Ted Cassidy (Lurch), Herbert W. Armstrong, Glenn Corbett, Ennis Cosby, and Andrew Wyeth are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

If we can trust what we read in the Psalms, we find that it is okay to question God. But we also find that we might not always expect an answer. David doesn’t get an answer to “how long.” But he still arrives at the place of trust in the steadfast love and salvation of God. “God doesn’t open his plan book to the curious eyes of impatient sinners.” What we do get, however, is our God, “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)

“O God, what good would it do me if I did know the answers to the querulous questions with which I badger you? You know what I really need–not more information, but more love; not your timetable, but your presence. Thank you for giving me yourself in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Voice of the Nature of God.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Isaiah 6:8

We tend to speak quite a bit about the “call of God.” But what we tend to forget is that which is most important, “the nature of the One Who calls.” We always hear of those select individuals who hear “the call of the sea, the call of the mountains, the call of the great ice barriers.” We must consider that the call expresses the nature of the one calling, “and we can only record the call if the same nature is in us.” it might be good to let that sink in for a minute.

“The call of God is the expression of God’s nature, not of our nature.” Each of us has parts of God’s call that works within us, parts that we and no one else can recognize. “It is the threading of God’s voice to us in some particular matter, and it is no use consulting anyone else about it.” This is something profound between the individual and God, alone.

But when God calls me, it is not the “echo of my nature; my affinities and personal temperament are not considered.” If I am considering these things, primarily, and thinking only about what I think I’m best fitted for, I will not hear God’s call. However, if I enter into an intimate relationship with God, such as Isaiah had, then I will hear. “The majority of us have no ear for anything but ourselves, we cannot hear a thing God says.” All you have to do is listen to conversations at church to grasp this truth. Even in our most attuned state, we still tend to think more about ourselves than what God truly wants for us. “To be brought into the zone of the call of God is to be profoundly altered.”

Father, open my eyes, my ears, and my heart to your call. While it’s true that I can say that I’ve heard your call throughout my life, there has always been a tendency to step back into what I think is best, what I think I can do. Stretch me, Father, to do your will. Bring me into that zone of your call, with all my senses awake to you. Teach me to set myself aside so that I may consider you and your purpose for me.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Reckless Abandon

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 13, 2012. I think Stephanie will like this one. It’s “National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.” So have another Nutter Butter Peanut Butter sandwich cookie. Except I don’t think we have any of those.
On this date in 1966, the Miranda Rights were established. From that point on, all criminal suspects must wear fruit and/or flowers on their head. On this date in 323BC, Alexander the Great died at the age of 33. And on this date in 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm concluded a meeting with Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Two weeks later, the Archduke and his wife were assassinated, which sparked WWI. Probably had something to do with this:

I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it.

Christi is still working from home. The building may be quarantined through Friday. They don’t know, yet, when it will be opened back up. There’s not much else to report. Things are rather quiet here since school got out. We need to find a nice frame for that diploma and hang it on the wall somewhere. We did luck out and get a hat and tassel. I can’t remember if I said that or not. When Christi went to the school to get the diploma, they had some extras. It seems that, at the end of graduation, many students toss theirs up and never find them again.

Father, I pray that you would show me something of yourself, this morning, that will help me live this day looking to you.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 13. David feels, incorrectly, of course, that the Lord has forgotten him. I’ve felt that way before. But at the end, he proclaims his trust and faith in the Lord.

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Like David, my heart rejoices in the salvation of the Lord, and I will sing to him, because he has, most definitely, dealt bountifully with me!

My Utmost For His Highest

Follow me… Mark 1:17

Those words were spoken to Simon and Andrew as they were fishing alongside the Sea of Galilee. They followed, immediately. How often do we make excuses? Especially excuses of temperament. “We make our temperament and our natural affinities barriers to coming to Jesus.” But once we come to Jesus, we realize that he pays no attention to these “natural affinities.” We also have this strange idea that we can “consecrate our gifts to God.” But we cannot consecrate what we do not own. The only thing that we can consecrate to God is our right to ourselves. “If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you. God’s experiments always succeed. The one mark of a saint is the moral originality which springs from abandonment to Jesus Christ.” In the saint, there is a constantly flowing spring of life that comes from the Holy Spirit. Do I reflect that? Sadly, I shake my head. Yes, according to God, I am a “saint,” but I do not always reflect that life. But one thing I do know…and that is that it is God who engineers all my circumstances. I have not yet achieved the desired result of knowing this, though, and that is an absence of whining (sadly, I do plenty of that), and “a reckless abandon to Jesus.” If I were to characterize the writings of Oswald Chambers with two words, they would be “reckless abandon.”
If I do abandon to Jesus and come when he says, “Come,” then he will continue to say, “Come,” and I will go through my life reproducing the echo of that call.

Father, I desire to come to you. I desire to obey the call of Christ. Yes, I did obey the initial call years ago when I came to salvation, but have I truly followed him? I cannot say that I have ever achieved the mark of reflecting that constantly flowing spring of life that is the Holy Spirit in my life. I know that he is there; I have felt his presence, just as I have had moments of extreme feeling of your presence in my life. I do not doubt my salvation (at least not at this moment). I do not doubt your presence in my life. However, there is more. There is more for me to accomplish. There is more for me to surrender. There’s the word, Lord. Surrender. I have never been able to fully surrender. There is too much hanging on of these “natural affinities.” There are things I don’t like to do. There are things that I am not good at. But you don’t care about that. You have given me gifts and you are the one who makes us good or not good at things. If you want me to do something, you will certainly enable me to do it. Give me the reckless abandon that Chambers speaks of so frequently! I want to surrender, Lord. “All to Jesus, I surrender; all to him I freely give!” Make that true in my life, Lord. I wish to hold onto nothing! Make me completely and fully yours.

I pray for this day, Lord. Not much happening, but I pray that Christi will have something productive to do today, and that they will get her building open for business. I pray that Stephanie will have a good, positive day. I also pray that my work day will be smooth, with no breakdowns or late deliveries. I pray for the prosperity of the companies that Christi and I work for.

I lift up the leadership of our church. I pray for their direction as they lead us. I pray for Joel as he pastors the flock. Give him good, solid, vision and show him where YOU want the church to go. I pray for the elders, as they support Joel. I pray that you would protect all of them, physically and spiritually. Strengthen them against spiritual attacks.

May your grace and mercy fall on us today, and may we overflow as dispensers of your grace into a fallen world. Help us to love.

May we all follow when Jesus says, “Follow.” Reckless abandon.

Grace and peace, friends.

Oh! How He Loves Us!!

Good morning! It’s Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day. Christi likes that. Actually, she says she likes Coconut Meringue better. I’m not a fan of either. Never been much for coconut. I guess the biggest news on this day is that, in 1945, it was V-E Day. Victory in Europe. However, in 1963, Sean Connery starred in his first James Bond movie on this day. Connery IS the best Bond. I will accept no arguments. Don’t even try.

Christi continues to work at the madhouse. Her quest goes on. All prayers are appreciated.

Stephanie should be able to get her diploma any time after June 2. As previously stated, there will be great joy and celebration, and possibly the Myposian Dance of Joy.

Father, I pray that you would show me more of you today. Give me something that will help me live this day looking to you.

I know I’ve shared this before, but I felt like starting off with some worship music this morning.

My heart will sing no other name…Jesus!

My Utmost For His Highest

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance… Revelation 3:10

Chambers compares the patience of a saint with a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. “God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says–‘I cannot stand any more.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands.” We must maintain our relationship to Christ by “the patience of faith.” As Job (who, contrary to the popular saying, wasn’t all that patient) said, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him!” No matter what the cost, I will wait for him.
Some see faith as sentimentality. “Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love.” We cannot see what he is doing, but we know that he is good; that he is love, therefore, we “fling [ourselves] in reckless confidence on God.” (This is really good stuff!)
God gave all to save us in Christ; He desires us to place our “abandoned confidence in Him.” We have places in our lives where this confidence has not touched us yet. Jesus had none of those; our goal is to have none of those. “The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering.”

Today’s Bible Readings

John 3; Psalm 13; 2 Samuel 18

John 3 contains what is probably the most famous of all Bible verses, John 3:16. It also gives us the phrase, “born again,” in verse 3, as Jesus answers Nicodemus’s questions. However, it is noted that the word “again” is literally “from above.” The point is, to enter God’s kingdom, we must be born of the Spirit. When we read John 3:16, we tend to think it is telling us how much God loved the world. This is not quite accurate. It might be better translated, “This is how God loved the world…” How did he love us? By sending his only Son to die in our place.
Later in the chapter, John the Baptist utters the famous words, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (v 30). But he utters something equally profound a few verses earlier that not so many people quote. “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven” (v 27). Do we really comprehend the gravity of that truth? I have not received even one thing that was not given me from heaven! This is truly a beautiful chapter!

Psalm 13
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

David feels forsaken. He prays for light in his eyes and is concerned about his enemies prevailing. But at the end, he trusts in the Lord and sings praises to him.

In 2 Samuel 18, David and company are about to head into the final battle with Absalom. The men would not allow David to go with them, saying that he was worth ten thousand of them. David acquiesced. However, he ordered them, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” Even after all of the treachery and betrayal, David still loved his son. How his heart must have broken! While Absalom was riding, his long, beautiful hair got caught in a tree. He hung helplessly in the tree. One of David’s men saw him and told Joab. Joab rebuked the man for not killing Absalom, but the man remembered David’s orders. Joab was not so compassionate. “I will not waste time like this with you,” he snarled (I’m embellishing…it doesn’t say he “snarled”), and thrust three javelins through the heart of Absalom. Runners carry the news to David. His reaction is recorded in verse 33: And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Father, I have worshiped you this morning, and feel as though I have already run into your arms. My heart will sing no other name…Jesus! I believe that your presence is here with me, and is with me at all times, 24/7. What I need is to recognize your presence throughout the day. If I truly believe (and I do) that you are with me all the time, then there are times during my day that I need to acknowledge that presence. Times when things may not be going quite the way I think they should; times when I have stress; times when I experience crisis; times when I doubt that you are actually in control of the madness. Father, I pray today…help me to fling myself on you with reckless confidence!! May I take no thought of consequences of following you! You are in control of my life. I have not one single thing that was not given me by you! By the power of your Spirit, and by the power of the ascended, glorified Christ, may I live my life in this manner! May my faith be a patient faith, one that shows complete and utter confidence in your loving hand. I also pray that you do these things for Christi as she makes her way to work today. Give her this reckless confidence in your hand; in your power. May she look to you today, by the power of the Spirit, for her confidence and guidance. Help her deal with the madness and appear to be the lone voice of sanity. I pray by your Spirit that you would give her favor with those in authority over her. I pray that you would change the hearts of those who deal recklessly with other people. I pray that you would shatter the immorality and materialism of one, bringing her to her knees in repentance! Unleash your power on this place, Lord. Only you can change hearts.

I thank you for the third chapter of John. I thank you for the way that you loved us. I also thank you for the words of John the Baptist that affirm our status before you. I have nothing, Lord. I remember from last week…I have nothing and I am nothing! I am not second, I am last! Make me last, Father. Humble me down to the dust with your Word. Glorify yourself and Christ through my life. Aim me at things I cannot see; stretch me to the point of breaking. I might complain, true. I probably will. (I think I just heard Christi laugh somewhere.) But you are God and you know what is best for our lives.

I pray for this day, Lord. Give Christi the bold confidence to get through it. May she not waver; may she not back down. Make her tough. I pray for Stephanie. She has not been feeling well for a couple days. Help her feel better and get her work done today. Sharpen her mind for the task ahead. May my day go smoothly today.

I pray for our friend, Dennis Jernigan, your psalmist. May his shoulder surgery go smoothly this morning, and his recovery be quick. It’s hard to play the piano with your arm in a sling. Get him through this with his eyes fixed on you.

I lift up my brothers and sisters in Christ at The Exchange. I pray for our church and its ministries, that we will be successful in the mission that you have given us. I pray for a place for us to worship; a permanent place that we can call home.

Fix your eyes on the Lord and fling yourself on him with reckless confidence! He is faithful and true, and oh, how he loves us!

Grace and peace, friends!