At ALL Times

Today is Friday, August 17, 2018. Day 22,072.

TWO DAYS until S turns 25!!!!!

50 days until GALVESTON!!

“Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.” ~ Michael Crichton, 1942-2008, The Quotations Page

The word for today is corpocracy, “a society in which corporations have much economic and political power.” I’m just gonna leave that there.

Today is my second day off, this week, one of which was unplanned until my accident on Monday. Since I had already planned to be off today, to begin celebrating S’s big birthday, I made the appointment to drop off my car at 10:00, this morning. They’ll have a rental for me. I’m not sure which car we will take to Mineral Wells tomorrow. We may take C’s. I guess some of that depends on what kind of rental I get. I have no idea how long the repairs will take. That depends on what they uncover when they remove the bumper assembly. Personally, I thought the inspector’s estimate was a bit on the low side. But it is getting fixed at a Lexus dealership, so I have good confidence that it will be done right. And the other party’s insurance is responsible for the whole cost.

C plans to come home at lunch time. Then we will go to lunch at a place of S’s choosing. After that, we have pedicures scheduled for around 2:30 this afternoon. Guys, if you’ve never had a pedicure, you don’t know what you’re missing! Seriously. We may get our grocery order in and picked up this evening, or schedule it for early tomorrow morning, so we can get to Mineral Wells by noon tomorrow. Knowing us, we won’t make it quite by noon, but that can be our goal.

The weekend will be spent at Grandma’s house. We will not, however, be going over the river and through the woods to get there. It’s more like under a train bridge and through some “mountains.” Shut up. We call them mountains. They’re taller than the ground, so they’re mountains. Until you visit Wyoming. Then they’re more like mole hills.

The Red Sox were off last night. The Yankees weren’t though, and they lost to the Rays, so the Sox gain a half game, and are now ahead by 10.5 games! There are forty games left.

The Rangers beat the Angels, 8-6, and they turned a rare triple play. One source said that the type of triple play they pulled off had not been accomplished since 1912. Profar doubled up the runner at third (tagged him) and the runner at second (touched third base), then threw to second for the force at second. Just for good measure, Odor also tagged the runner coming from first. So, technically, they got four outs in the inning, as the runner at first was out twice. The batter was not retired. The Rangers are 54-69, and 21 games out in the AL West. Nineteen out in the Wild Card. 39 games to go.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Of David.
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 
he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. 
O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? 
Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. 
Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! 
Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them! 
Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners, 
whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 
I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you, 
who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword. 
Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; 
may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; 
may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets! 
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

Psalm 144

Hopefully, the only “war” and “battle” that the Lord is training me for is spiritual. I can proclaim, with David, that the Lord is my steadfast love, my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, my shield, and my refuge. I receive great comfort and encouragement in knowing that God is all of these things to me.

Then, David asks, similar to Psalm 8, who are we, that You, O Lord, even think about us?? The very fact that Almighty God, Creator of the universe, cares at all for us puny, fragile humans, is astounding. We are, indeed, like a breath. When we are children, sixty years seems like forever. Suddenly, we are sixty, or eighty, or a hundred, should we be blessed to live that long, and it seems like fifteen was only yesterday. This all reminds me of a beautiful song by a group called Five for Fighting. The song is called “100 Years.”

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! 
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! 
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah. 
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! 
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions! 
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. 
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. 
O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call.

Psalm 20

This is a great Psalm to pray for people you know and love, for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Dare we even pray such prayers for our enemies? Especially verse 5, “May we shout for joy over your salvation!” Take a moment and pray this Psalm for someone you know.

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Psalm 96:1
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 62:8

These all look like positive statements, and, to a degree, they are. But consider, for a moment, applying them to times in your life when things don’t quite go the way you planned. Maybe you have a disturbed child who has attempted (or perhaps even succeeded) suicide. Maybe you have lost a close loved one sooner than expected. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you’ve gotten a frightening diagnosis. Can you say these things in those cases? We should be able to, because of all of the truths already proclaimed about the Lord. We should be able to “bless the LORD at all times.” ALL times. We’ve all heard the statement that has become a bit of a cliche: God is good, all the time.

We can trust in him at all times. ALL times. It is in the troubling times that we have to work harder to remember our faith, and to remember that our God is sovereign over everything. And everything that happens to us in this life is temporary. Maybe that’s the best thing for us to remember. No matter what it is, “this, too, shall pass.” Even if it is the dreaded cancer! It WILL pass, because there will come a day when this earthly life is over and we cross over into whatever comes next.

If we are walking in God’s Kingdom today, we have nothing to fear. We do fear, because we don’t trust perfectly. But, truthfully, we have nothing to fear. As Dallas Willard once said, because of our Father, “This world is a perfectly safe place for us to be.” Some would look at that statement and decide that he was out of his mind. No, he wasn’t. He had a bigger faith than anyone I have ever seen. He knew/knows God, our Father, and trust Him fully.

It’s a sort of decision. I will decide to bless the Lord at ALL times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Even when I’m standing on the side of the road next to a sixteen year old kid who has just rear-ended me. Even when my father dies from some strange, rare disease. Even when my daughter has autism and we don’t know what the future holds for any of us. I will trust in Him at all times. I will pour out my heart before Him. He IS my refuge.

Father, I praise You that I am able to say these things. I know that, from day to day, minute to minute, I don’t always reflect these statements. But my joy is in You, and I always come back to this place. I may stray from the path, but You and Your Spirit always nudge me (sometimes more of a shove) back to the center of the path. I will trust in You at all times. I will bless Your name at all times. Your praises shall continually be in my mouth. I will sing a new song to You! You are my refuge, my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer!
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.

It’s Not About Me

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”~~Thomas Merton

Today’s word of the day, from, is nonce, “the present, or immediate, occasion or purpose (usually used in the phrase for the nonce).”

Today is Serpent Day. Before you go running from the room, realize that this is not so much about snakes as it is about stopping to reflect and ponder, and come to grips with our fears. “Should you decide to celebrate Serpent Day, you could spend this time contemplating some of your key life experiences and deciding what lessons they’ve taught you and how you could use this knowledge to improve your life in the future.”

Yesterday was a good day. It started out rough, but got better quickly. As already stated (perhaps not necessarily in these words), I was pretty much an emotional blob of goo yesterday morning. I was struggling to even want to go to church, much less to the PAT meeting afterward. But when I got to church, I began to talk to people; to people who dared to ask, “How are you doing?” At first, I only said, “I’ve been better.” Then I started elaborating a little. No one ran away from me. They stood and listened. And they cared. Some hugged. It helped. It helped a lot. As the worship progressed, I got into it. I released a good bit of the stuff to the Lord through the worship time. The message was all about the Church, her purpose, and her people. This helped remind me of how much I love the Church. I love the Church because Jesus loves the Church. And, as it has been said, you can’t love Jesus and hate the Church. You just can’t. Anyway, the PAT meeting after church went very well. We had some good discussion about how things have gone since we moved to the YMCA building, and I contributed a lot more than I thought I was going to.

It’s Monday, again, so I have band practice tonight. It’s the long day of the week, but the last part of it is the most fun. I can’t think of anything else significant going on this week. Just work.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call.

Psalm 20:6-9

It is appropriate to boast when the Lord answers prayer. That is, of course, if we boast in the right direction. “When God shows himself to be the God who brings victory, the God who enters history and responds to human need with salvation, the proper response os boasting that matures into praise.”

“‘Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ my God:
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.’
(Isaac Watts, ‘When I Survey The Wondrous Cross’).

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Call of God.”

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel,
1 Corinthians 1:17

Paul’s calling was to preach the Gospel. Looking back at yesterday’s reading, Chambers states that the Gospel is the “reality of Redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ.” We must not make holiness or sanctification the end of our preaching. We are not “commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification; we are commissioned to lift up Jesus Christ (John 12:32).” I must never say that Jesus “travailed in Redemption to make me a saint.” It’s not about me; it will never be about me.

“The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the Gospel of God. He welcomed heartbreaks, disillusionments, tribulation, for one reason only, because these things kept him in unmoved devotion to the Gospel of God.”

Father, while my calling might not be to preach, it is still related to your Gospel. I am called to live out the Gospel in the world around me, and to seek out those who would be disciples of Jesus. By your grace, and your grace alone, I am saved, and continue to walk this earth. Help me, by the power of your Holy Spirit and the Gospel, to live out my calling in your name.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Recklessly Abandoned

“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”~~Napoleon Bonaparte

Today’s word of the day, from, is cryophilic, “preferring or thriving at low temperatures.”

Today is yaD drawkcaB. I would try to type part of the blog entry backwards, but it’s too tedious, and I don’t have enough time on Sunday mornings.

The trip home, yesterday, went very smoothly. We stopped for a bite of breakfast, and then one more quick stop at Pirtle Cemetery. Other than that, we made a non-stop “flight” back to home. If you care to look at the picture album that I put together, you can see it on my Facebook page. I set the privacy on the album so that everyone should be able to look at it.

I have to say that I’m pretty emotionally drained from this trip. It’s not just from the sadness of a funeral for a 34-year-old cousin. It’s largely from all the memories that were drummed up by visiting old houses and cemeteries where close relatives are buried. It’s been way too long since I have been out that way. I figure that, sometime this year, we need to take Mama out there to spend some time with her brother.

Today is the last day of January. The high temp for tomorrow, February 1, is predicted to be 76. I don’t really know what to say about that. I’m not going to make any jokes yet, because we still have all of February left in front of us, and that’s usually when we get our worst winter weather.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah.
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!

Psalm 20:1-5

As we look at Psalm 20, we find that it appears to be intercession for the king. “No one can sustain leadership without support of the people’s prayers.” The prayers of the people are more important than the taxes, industry, and intelligence of the people. “The best thing we can do for another is pray for him or her.” In light of this, I can’t help but wonder how many “Christians” have prayed for President Obama over the past eight years.

“I pray for those set over me in government and church. Strengthen them in their leadership, support them with your grace, keep them open to your justice and mercy, use them as instruments for your will.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Do You See Your Calling?”

. . . set apart for the gospel of God . . .
Romans 1:1

What is the primary nature of our calling? Chambers insists that, rather than being called to be holy men and women, we are called to be proclaimers of the Gospel. “The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality.” Our goodness, humility, holiness, heaven and hell; these are not the ultimate “Reality.” Redemption is Reality, and “the need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today.” Our own holiness is an effect, not a cause, “and if we place our faith in human goodness, in the effect of Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes.”

In the beginning verse of Romans, it is important to note that Paul did not separate or “set apart” himself. It was God who separated him, set him apart. We must not become infatuated with our own character; we must be recklessly abandoned to God, allowing God to separate us, to set us apart to proclaim his Gospel.

Father, help me to keep my eyes off of my self and my own holiness, or lack thereof. My character is not the most important thing; it is not Reality. The Gospel is reality; redemption is reality; making disciples is reality. Teach me how to do this, and then lead me to someone to teach. Teach me to be recklessly abandoned to your Gospel.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.


Good morning. Today is Wednesday, June 20, 2012. First day of Summer. Today is “National Ice Cream Soda Day,” as well as “National Vanilla Milkshake Day.” Two closely related items. This could explain why Sonic is offering all milkshakes at half price today.
On this date in 1975, “Jaws” was released, forever immortalizing this music:

On this date in 1863, West Virginia entered the Union. That’s about all I know about West Virginia. And, on this date in 1900, the Boxer Rebellion began in China.

Extra points to anyone who knows what this picture is…

Last night at 24 Hour Fitness, I had my 100th workout there, since we started all this back in January. As reported on Facebook last night, in the past five months, I have lost nearly 70 pounds, Christi has lost almost 60, and Stephanie is close to 50 pounds dropped. Together, we have lost over 170 pounds since January. Workouts at 24 Hour Fitness, along with a lot of meals at Subway. Maybe we could be the next Jared? Still a long way to go, though. I still want to lose a little over 100 pounds. But I’m very pleased with our progress.

I have a couple of prayer requests before I get into my devotional. We have two church family members who went into the hospital yesterday. I’ll give first names. Bart, who has been in the hospital once before in the past couple of months, is having trouble keeping any food down and is getting dehydrated. This seems to be just like what happened before, and they have still not identified what’s wrong. Robin went in for some tests yesterday, and I don’t have any more information at all. Something appears to be wrong, though. Prayers would be appreciated.

Father, I pray that you would show me something today that would help me live this day looking to you. Help me remember what you show me, and make your Word come alive in me today.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 20.

May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt offerings!

May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.

O LORD, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.

This psalm was written by David, and the subject of the prayers was the king. However, I see nothing wrong with praying the words of this psalm over friends and family members, or anyone else that we desire to be blessed by God. Verse 7 speaks volumes. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. I don’t have any chariots or horses. But my world is full of things that could be trusted instead of the Lord. I choose to trust in God…perhaps I should say that I choose to attempt to trust in God. I don’t always succeed.

My Utmost For His Highest

And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. Job 42:10

“The plaintive, self-centered, morbid kind of prayer, a dead-set that I want to be right, is never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is a sign that I am rebelling against the Atonement.” You see, there is nothing that I can do to make myself right with God. “I can only be right with God if I accept the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift.” There is much to think about in today’s reading. Chambers says that much of our prayer arises “from real disbelief in the Atonement.” How much of our prayer is directed at making ourselves more holy and righteous? I look back at my prayers. I spend a lot of time praying for myself. However, I spend close to an equal amount of time praying for others, too. In fact, I spend a good deal of my drive to work in prayer, as well. I see his point, though.
Look at the verse from Job, above. “…the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.” “The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer.” Honestly, I’m not sure I agree 100% with this. There are many people out there, telling me what the “real business” of the Christian is, and they all have a different idea. I do believe that intercessory prayer is of major importance. But I believe the “real business” of my “life as a saved soul” is to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5) As stated by Jesus, the second part of my “real business” is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39) Part of loving my neighbor as myself is praying for that neighbor. I don’t see any crime in praying daily for the Lord to fill me with his grace and mercy, and asking him to work out in me what he has taught me during the day’s readings. However, I can see the point that Chambers is making here. We should spend at least as much time, if not more, praying on behalf of others as we do ourselves. “…pray that His Atonement may be realized in other lives as it has been in yours.” Part of this requires that we believe in and trust the Atonement in our lives!

My Father, I see the words that were written for today, and I hear them. I will listen to what Mr. Chambers was trying to say, and, though I may not agree totally with it, I see the importance of prayer in a believer’s life, and especially intercessory prayer. For most of my life, you have been bringing me back to this point. The topic of intercessory prayer has come up continually in my life, and I cannot ignore this fact. I feel so weak when I think of my own prayer life, though. So often, I am at a loss for words when attempting to pray for people. (I’m sure people who know me find that hard to believe.) What do I pray for so-and-so? What is best for them? This is where I must trust your Holy Spirit to intercede as the Scriptures say he does. This is where I must trust that Jesus Christ is interceding for us. (Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34) I will spend time praying for myself, as it is usually reaction to what I have read for the day. But today…I see the connection between Psalm 20 and the reading from Chambers. I believe that this has come from your Spirit, just this moment, in the middle of this prayer. It is as though a light bulb just appeared over my head. Psalm 20 is an example of an intercessory prayer. I could pray that psalm for anyone, pretty much. Make me an intercessor. Show me how to pray for others, Lord. But make me humble about it. I will never get up on a pedestal and proclaim that I am a prayer warrior. Rather, I would hide in a closet while I pray for others. For it is not me that is to be central. It is you. Hide me in the center of your holiness, Lord, and make me the prayer warrior that you desire for me to be. May I worship you with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

I pray for this day, Father. May Christi have a good, positive day at work, and I pray that she will have a nice time at dinner tonight, as she meets with old friends. Keep her and them safe as they travel to meet together. I pray that Stephanie will have a good day today, doing whatever she chooses to do to pass the day. I pray that she may find some time during this day to read your Word and let it come alive within her spirit. She is your special child, Father, and I pray that you would use her as you see fit. I also pray for my day at work, that there would be minimal stress today. I pray for the good success of both companies that we work for.

Father, I lift up Bart and Robin to you today. I pray for healing for Bart, that his body would get stronger and that he would be able to eat and drink and keep it down. Give the doctors wisdom and show them what is wrong. I pray for Robin…I don’t know what’s going on, but I pray for strength for her, healing for her, and wisdom for any attending physicians.

I pray for the leadership of our church. Give them wisdom as they seek your face for direction. Give them humility as they lead. Lord, they have a passion for you and to see people’s lives changed. I pray that you fan that flame, and grow that passion. I ask for extra grace for Joel, as he has the super-burden of being the lead pastor. I can only begin to imagine the amount of stress that he is under in this position, and I pray that you show him how to place all of that stress on you, because you care for us. Any anxiety that he is feeling, I pray that your Spirit would dissolve it. I pray that you would show him where you want The Exchange to be; where you want us to go. May he focus solely on your word and your direction. Fill him with your Spirit. I pray that words may be given him as you open his mouth to boldly proclaim the gospel. I pray that you would open the ears of everyone who attends The Exchange that we might hear the words of the mystery of the gospel, and that we might fully understand this mystery.

Show us your grace, Lord. May we know it fully. Make your Word alive in us. Alive and awake.

May we focus more on others than ourselves.

Grace and peace, friends.

Seek First

Good morning. We’re back to Monday. May 21, 2012. Today is National Waitress/Waiter Day. Show some extra love to the people who bring your food and refill your soda/water/coffee today. It’s also National Memo Day. But I didn’t get the memo on that… It was on this date in 1999 that Susan Lucci finally won that elusive Emmy Award for her role as Erica Kane in “All My Children.” She had been nominated 19 times. It was also on this date in 1955 that Chuck Berry recorded his hit song, “Maybellene.” Found a live clip of that song on youtube…it’s kind of funny to watch the audience…doing nothing at all.

We had a nice day yesterday. After church, we drove up to Denton and had lunch with Rachel and Justin at Frilly’s Cajun Seafood Restaurant. After that, we played Taboo while Stephanie took a nap.

Father, I pray that you would show me more of yourself this morning, as I struggle to live this life looking to you.

My Utmost For His Highest

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

This has become a favorite verse for many people over the years. It is certainly one of the most quote verses from the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps even more so than The Beatitudes. And the words that Jesus spoke in this verse are still revolutionary. We are instructed to seek something other than self first. Our natural way of thinking is not so. “The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God, but how we are to fit ourselves to live.” Jesus turned it around, telling us to get our relationship with God straight first. Spend our energy maintaining that and don’t be concerned with the other things. Wait…let me rephrase that. Don’t be anxious about the other things. That’s better. We don’t necessarily need to be careless about the other things. In fact, Chambers says we should be “carefully careless about everything else in comparison to that.” I like the phrasing of that. “Jesus is saying that the great care of the life is to put the relationship to God first, and everything else second.”
This relates directly to what I got a couple days ago about the need to “just be.” So difficult. Our flesh has desires that it insists upon being concerned about. The discipline comes in learning how to re-channel those desires, spiritually. Seek first the kingdom of God. Everything else will fall into place. And that seems to be put in the form of a promise from our Savior.

Today’s Bible Readings

John 10; Psalm 20; 1 Kings 1

John 10 is one of those great discourses of Jesus’s teaching. He begins by describing himself and his followers in terms of sheep. His sheep know him and follow his voice. They will not follow a stranger’s voice. It is in this passage that Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” He also, in verse 18, affirms his own authority in the matter of his death. “No one takes it [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” Later, in verses 28-30, Jesus affirms the great doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” After he said that last sentence, the Jews picked up stones to kill him.

There are a lot of things that people trust in in today’s world. Money, power, themselves… But the Psalmist, in this case David, makes this proclamation in Psalm 20: 7: Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Yes! We don’t have many chariots in our day, but you can insert almost anything you want in that verse. “Some trust in riches and some in position or power, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God!”

When I read the first part of 1 Kings 1, it’s almost amusing. David is “old and advanced in years,” and they can’t keep him warm, even with lots of covers. So they go out and find a “beautiful young woman” to lie in his arms. There’s absolutely nothing sexual about this, as verse 4 says “the king knew her not.” That Bible talk for sex, you know. Trouble starts soon after this as Adonijah, “son of Haggith,” usurps the kingdom from David. Nathan the prophet (remember him?) approaches Bathsheba and warns her about this, and they decide to approach the king, as Solomon is the rightful heir to the throne. Bathsheba speaks with the king, and while she is there, Nathan comes in, both of them letting David know what has happened (he didn’t know about Adonijah). They quickly got Solomon and anointed him king. While Adonijah and his “subjects” were celebrating, they heard the uproar of the crowd and the trumpet sounding. When they heard the news that Solomon had been made king, all of his “subject” hit the trail. They ran away. Adonijah, fearing Solomon, ran and took hold of the horns of the altar. He begged Solomon not to kill him. Solomon’s response: “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” (v 52) He submitted to Solomon and was sent home.

Father, I pray that I might seek your kingdom first today. There will be many things that will compete for this thought. There will be issues at work; there will be thoughts about my wife’s work; there will be concerns about Stephanie and her school work. Let them all fall behind my thoughts of your kingdom. May I seek your righteousness today as I try to live this day looking to you. May the risen Christ be the focus of my day as the flesh attempts to stir up lusts within me. You, alone, are worthy of my allegiance and my worship. You, alone, are worthy of the focus of my mind, heart, and spirit. Fill me with your righteousness and spirit as this day comes to pass.

I pray for a couple of Internet/journaling friends that are out of sorts this morning. May you restore the relationship that they once had and remove any misunderstandings that may have arisen. I know this is weighing heavily on at least one of their hearts.

I pray for this day. May Christi have a good day at her work today. And I mean that. I ask you to make it a good day, and that she would find favor with those in authority over her. I pray for my day at work, as well. May I not find any unpleasant surprises when I get there today. And let us have good success in our goals today. I pray that Stephanie’s last week of homebound will be very successful, as well.

Your grace is sufficient, O Lord!

Seek his kingdom first. He will take care of everything else.

Grace and peace, friends.