The Lord Is At Hand

Today is Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Day 22,062.

Twelve days until S turns 25!!!!

60 days until Galveston!

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” ~ Jerry Seinfeld, BrainyQuote

The word for today is last-ditchery, “The action of fighting to the last ditch; the maintaining of resistance or opposition to the end.”

There isn’t much to talk about, this morning. I’m in the midst of a bit of a cold (sinu-bronchitis?), so we didn’t make to the Y last night (and won’t tonight, either, unless I miraculously begin to feel better today). The Red Sox had the night off, and the Rangers lost to the Mariners 4-3 in twelve innings. That makes them 49-65 on the season, and 23 games back in the AL West.

The Athletics continue with the longest winning streak, now at six games. The Orioles and Royals are still battling for the worst spot, now tied with 34-78 records, almost exactly the opposite of the Red Sox.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

A Song of Ascents.
Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! 
Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD! 
May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!

Psalm 134

This is the last of the Songs of Ascent. It is simply a call to come praise the Lord, lifting up hands toward His holy place.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:5-7

I’ve started adding verse 5 to this, now, whenever I quote this passage. I believe that it is important to preface the thought of not being anxious about anything with the truth that “the Lord is at hand.” It is much easier to succeed in not being anxious when we know that God is present. Now, the truth of the matter is that God is always present. I’ve talked about this before. There is nowhere that I can go that God is not. He is everywhere. The Psalmist wrote, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalm 139:7-8) So when someone begins quoting Philippians 4:6-7, try to remember to add verse 5, at least the second half of it. “The Lord is at hand.”

If we couple that passage in Philippians with Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7, we have a “trifecta of truth.” Heh. I just made that up. Sorry.

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Again, there’s a verse that really needs to be included with the commonly quoted verse. 1 Peter 5:6, which is part of the sentence, tells us to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, and, in humbling ourselves, casting our anxieties on Him. If we try to do the second part without doing the first part, it just may not work.

So, for today, remember that 1) the Lord is at hand, so we can succeed in not being anxious because we know that He is with us; 2) He will sustain us when we cast our burdens upon Him; and 3) we can cast our cares and anxieties on Him when we humble ourselves before Him, because He does truly care for us.

Father, I thank You for these easily accessible truths from Your word. Help me to remember these words today, and may You also help all who might stumble across and read this, because everyone has some kind of anxiety in their lives. And we all need You in our lives. May we all remember that You are with us, all the time. There is nowhere that we can go that You are not (including some places that we probably shouldn’t go), so let that be a comfort to us, knowing that, everywhere we drive or walk today, You are right there with us, loving us, protecting us, and providing for us.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

The Journey Is Not the Purpose

Today is Wednesday, November 16, 2016. Eight days until Thanksgiving. (And another four-day-weekend!)

Quote of the Day

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

Word of the Day

Pleonasm – the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy. Preachers are frequently guilty of pleonasm.

Today is Fast Food Day. I think you know what to do.

I have a real bad case of “I don’t wanna,” this morning. I was deeply asleep when the alarm went off, and still haven’t managed to fully wake up, yet. Ah, well . . . life goes on, and there are things I must do. And miles to go before I sleep.

C and I are starting to look at our health benefits for next year. I can get a really high deductible plan for, literally, pennies a month. The cost is $3.29 a pay period, and we get paid bi-weekly, so that’s just under $7 a month! But the deductible is $6500. C has not gotten her information yet, so we’ll wait a bit to see what her company is offering and how much it will be. I’m thinking about a lower deductible at about the same cost I was paying this year. I never meet my deductible, but if something major happened, I would want the deductible to be lower than $6500. But it sure is cheap.

There are 101 days until the first Spring Training game for the Texas Rangers. 137 days until Opening Day.


Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, you heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Psalm 43:3-4

(From Praying With the Psalms)

A Song of Ascents. Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!
Psalm 134

This is the last of the “Songs of Ascents.” The people have arrived, the call comes out to “Come, bless the Lord!” Do we sometimes forget why we have come to the gathering place to worship? Or do we feel that just showing up is enough, and settle back to let others do the acts of worship? The journey is not the purpose, but a means to an end, which is gathering to worship the Lord together, in community.

“‘Bless, O my soul! the living God; call home thy thoughts that rove abroad; let all the powers within me join in work and worship so divine. . . . Let the whole earth His power confess, let the whole earth adore His grace; the Gentile with the Jew shall join in work and worship so divine’ (Isaac Watts, ‘Bless, O My Soul! The Living God’). Amen.”

Father, never let me forget why I gather with my brothers and sisters. I pray that you move in my heart so that I always look forward to being with your people, whether it is a gathering to worship you, or to fellowship over a meal or some other event. May your Spirit lead me to always delight in the community of faith.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

Grace and peace, friends.


Good morning. It is Friday! November 2, 2012. Today is “Look for Circles Day.” Hey, there’s one! Holding my coffee! Well, it’s more of a cylinder, but the top is a circle! There’s another one! In the middle of my acoustic guitar! And that lamp! This is going to be a busy day. I’d better get moving.

On this date in 1783, George Washington gave his farewell address to the Army.
On this date in 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states in the U.S.
On this date in 1936, the British Broadcasting Company initiated the BBC Television Service. It was renamed BBC1 in 1964, and still runs to this day.
Also on this date in 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established.
On this date in 1947, Howard Hughes flew the Spruce Goose for the first and only time. It was the largest fixed wing aircraft ever built.
On this date in 1959, game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to being given questions and answers in advance for the game show Twenty One.
On this date in 1965, Norman Morrison set himself on fire in front of the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in Vietnam.
On this date in 1983, Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Today’s birthdays include Daniel Boone, 1734, Marie Antoinette, 1755, James Polk (11th President), 1795, Warren G. Harding (29th President), 1865, Burt Lancaster, 1913, Stephanie Powers, 1942, Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer), 1944, kd lang, 1961, David Schwimmer (Friends), 1966, Orlando Cabrera (baseball player), 1974.

We finally all got to the gym last night. It’s the first time all three of us went in several weeks. Good times. Not a whole lot more to report. I think we might be taking Stephanie and Michael out for dinner tonight. I’m not sure what the weekend holds, either, besides the normal stuff.

Father, I pray for some revelation this morning as I continue to learn how to follow Jesus. May your Holy Spirit lead me today.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 134. This is the last “Song of Ascents.” Since it is placed last, there are many who feel that the first two verses sung by departing worshipers, as they encourage the priests who tend the temple at night.

1 A Song of Ascents. Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
3 May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “Authority and Independence.” The scripture reading is from John 14:15, which says, If you love me, you will keep my commandments. “Our Lord never insists upon obedience; He tells us very emphatically what we ought to do, but He never takes means to make us do it.” You’ll notice that most of the time, when speaking of discipleship, Jesus prefaced his statements with “if.” IF I want to be his disciple, I must give up my right to myself. I don’t have to do it. He will not force me to do it. It must be done out of a oneness of spirit with Jesus. We must also understand that these words do not refer to “eternal positions, but of being of value to Himself in this order of things.”

“The Lord does not give me rules, He makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation.” If there is hesitation, it is because I love something else more than I love Jesus, most likely myself. There is a point at which I must decide to leave self behind and obey Christ, if I want to be a true disciple. Chambers says that Christ will not help me obey. I’m not sure I totally agree with that. I would not be able to obey at all, were it not for his life in me. But I think I get what he means. I must get beyond the small, petty things in my life that hinder me. I must decide that they don’t matter. I must leave behind everything in my life that is not of Christ. This is difficult, perhaps even impossible. Again, the reason that I don’t agree with the thought the Jesus does not help me. Anyway, getting beyond that…once I do obey, redemption flows through me, out of me, into other lives and others are blessed. I have no idea how many people will ultimately be blessed through my obedience. Furthermore, that should not be my concern. It is simply my duty to lose myself and obey Jesus.

Father, I praise you this morning for the life of Christ in me. I do believe that his life in me helps me obey him. I know that my obedience is far from perfect, and I continually pray that I might be a faithful disciple. I do desire to be a disciple, therefore my heart’s desire is to obey your commandments. This is one reason, among many, that I do this thing in the mornings. I sense growth in my inner being, more of a desire to give up my right to myself and allow you to take over. Keep me working toward that, as I continue to discover the importance of allowing Jesus to live his life through me. I pray that people will see me as a “person of peace,” both at home and at work, and any place I happen to be. I pray daily for the characteristics of Christ to be manifest in my life. Make these things that don’t matter smaller and smaller in my life.

I pray for this day. Christi is working from home today. I pray that she will have plenty of uninterrupted time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Give her peace in this setting, and may the fact that she is working from home serve to shield her from the normal stress and tension of a work day. I also pray that you would continue to heal the pain in her leg and foot. I pray for Stephanie today, that she would not take too much liberty with the fact that her mother is home. Help her understand that Christi is home to work. I also pray that you draw Steph’s heart closer to yours I pray for my work day, as well, that you would make it a smooth day for us, with no issues to prevent us from achieving our goals.

I continue to lift up people affected by hurricane Sandy. I pray that power would be restored to the millions of people who may still be without power. I pray for comfort and hope for those whose lives have been drastically altered by this storm. I pray for relief efforts to be unimpeded, and that your Church would rise up and be a force of healing in this time.

Our obedience is voluntary, but what blessings come when we do obey! If we would be disciples…”IF.”

Grace and peace, friends.