The Best Me

Today is Saturday, January 27, 2018. Day 21,870.

61 days until Opening Day.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on this date in 1756 (died 1791), said, “I cannot write poetically, for I am no poet. I cannot make fine artistic phrases that cast light and shadow, for I am no painter. I can neither by signs nor by pantomime express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer; but I can by tones, for I am a musician.”

The word for today, from the Oxford English Dictionary, because today is also the birthday of Lewis Carroll, is outgrabe, a, um, verb? It means, “A nonsense word; (most frequently) to emit a strange noise.”

I’m a bit late today, as we have had some things going on, this morning. Nothing serious, mind you. But I wasted a couple of hours trying to update my Windows on this PC, only to have it restore the previous version. The update failed, for reasons I know not. Then we decided to go ahead and get our Kroger Click List submitted, so we can pick it up this afternoon. We Also had some minor roof repair done today, during that time.

I think we may actually fire up the grill and cook some steaks tomorrow.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Of David.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. 
  Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! 
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. 
For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. 
Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. 
His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. 
  The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. 
  My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. 
  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 
The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 
Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. 
Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. 
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 
May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. 
  Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Psalm 25

Verses 4 and 5 are a constant prayer of mine, along with Psalm 86:11. “Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Verse 14 reminds me of a Matt Redman song. “The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.”

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 
  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 
  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16

We would do well not to try so very hard to “be” this or that. We certainly should not try to be Jesus. God already has Jesus; He doesn’t need another one. Likewise, I don’t need to try to be Dallas Willard, or St. Augustine. God already has one of each of them, as well. What God needs me to do is to be me. He needs me to be who He planned for me to be, and to be the best me that I can be.

(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
A Revolt Against Christ

“In the earlier history of every rebellion there is a stage at which you do not yet attack the King in person. You say, ‘The King is all right. It is his Ministers who are wrong. They misrepresent him and corrupt all his plans–which, I’m sure are good plans if only the Ministers would let them take effect.’ And the first victory consists in beheading a few Ministers: only at a later stage do you go on and behead the King himself. In the same way, the nineteenth-century attack on St Paul was really only a stage in the revolt against Christ. Men were not ready in large numbers to attack Christ Himself. They made the normal first move–that of attacking one of His principal ministers. Everything they disliked in Christianity was therefore attributed to St Paul. It was unfortunate that their case could not impress anyone who had really read the Gospels and the Epistles with attention: but apparently few people had, and so the first victory was won. St Paul was impeached and banished and the world went on to the next step–the attack on the King Himself.” (Modern Translations of the Bible)

Father, I pray for the strength (once again, I realize you have already given me that strength, but I must find it) to be the “me” that you have planned for me to be. Not to use it as an excuse to say, “Well, that’s just the way I am, and I can’t change.” Rather, to change into who you want me to be, the real me. For, indeed, I am “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and you have all of my days written in your book.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

I’ll leave you with a song that I plan to sing at our next Night of Worship. It’s a recent song by Matt Maher, called “Your Love Defends Me.”

Grace and peace, friends.

Don’t Speak, Listen

“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.”~~Michel de Montaigne

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is canoodle. It means “to engage in amorous embracing, caressing, and kissing.” Appropriate for Valentine’s Day, right?

Today is International Book Giving Day. The idea is to not just share books, but to share them with young readers. So get out there and give away some books! (But don’t give them to me. I don’t have any more room.)

As expected, we didn’t do much of anything, yesterday. Christi rested a lot, we watched some TV, and played Fallout 4 quite a bit. The only time one of us left the house was when I went out to get us something to eat at around 6-7 PM. That’s what Saturdays are for, in my mind! 😀

This morning, we have our worship gathering at The Exchange. We meet at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA at 9100 N. Beach St., Fort Worth, Texas. If you’re in the area, come and join us.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Psalm 25:11-22

“God is for us, not against us.” Most of us really need to let that sink in.

“God is for us, not against us.” Once we realize this truth, we can stop trying to “avoid his notice,” or worse, trying to work to soothe his nonexistent anger toward us, and begin to live our lives growing in his friendship.

“God, it’s hard to get it through my head that while I am yet a sinner, and even while I continue to disappoint you, you steadfastly befriend me in Jesus. But how grateful I am! Thank you, in the name of your Son. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Discipline of Heeding.”

What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
Matthew 10:27

There are times when God will put us through “the discipline of darkness” in order to teach us how to heed him. Chambers advises us to be aware of when God places us in darkness, “and when you are there keep your mouth shut. . . . remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed.” If we talk to others, we can’t listen to what God is saying.

After the time of darkness, there will be a time of both delight and humiliation. Chambers comments that if there is only delight, we probably didn’t really hear God at all. The humiliation is not a bad thing, but simply understanding how long it took us to hear God. This, in turn, “brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now.”

Father, teach me these things. I know from experience that opening my mouth “in the dark” is not a good thing. I truly have spoken in the wrong mood during these times. I have also made the mistake of talking to others, and, perhaps, reading books on what others had to say. Help me to listen to only you when you place me in dark times. Then lead me into that state of combined delight and humiliation; delight in having heard your voice, and humiliation because it took me so long.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Am I Listening?

“A kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years.”~~Rupert Brooke

Today’s word of the day, from, is groggery. A groggery is “a slightly disreputable barroom.” Best stay away from those, right?

Today is Radio Day, a day formed in 2011, to celebrate the importance of radio communication, which, in some parts of the world, still remains the primary means of information and communication.

I didn’t get up until 9:30, this morning, hence the late-ish blog entry.

I worked about an hour late, yesterday, as did Christi, so we wound up having a late dinner. We called out for Asian food at our usual place, and had it delivered. We watched a few TV shows, then Christi went to bed, and I stayed up, as is my custom, to play Fallout 4. After a couple of hours, I noticed I was having a hard time staying awake, so I went on to bed, as well. It’s been a touch week. We’re all hoping for some better weeks ahead. And, of course, we are praying and hoping for some good news next week.

We got our taxes filed today, finally. We’re getting a small amount back, this year. I don’t know what else will be going on today. Christi is still coughing quite bit, from whatever ailment she has had this week, so I don’t know if we’ll get to the grocery store today, or not. The manager of our Kroger store, who is also our pastor’s dad, is in the hospital with double pneumonia! He’s doing better, I hear, but will remain in the hospital, at least through today.

I’m rambling a bit, so I should probably get on to other things.

On this date in 1633, Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face heresy charges. You see, he believed that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Scandalous! You can read the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1599–Pope Alexander VII
1885–Bess Truman, First Lady
1891–Grant Wood, American painter
1919–Tennessee Ernie Ford, American musician
1923–Chuck Yeager, American pilot
1933–Kim Novak, American actress
1934–George Segal, American actor
1938–Oliver Reed, English actor
1942–Peter Tork, American musician, The Monkees
1942–Carol Lynley, American actress
1944–Jerry Springer, American TV host
1944–Stockard Channing, American actress
1950–Peter Gabriel, English musician
1951–David Naughton, American actor/singer, “I’m A Pepper”
1961–Henry Rollins, American musician
1976–Feist, Canadian singer/songwriter

Peter Tork is an American musician and actor, most famously known as the bass player for The Monkees. He is 74 years old today. Here is my favorite song by The Monkees.

Catherine Howard, Cotton Mather, Richard Wagner, David Janssen, Waylon Jennings, Dick Weber, and Nelson Briles are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 25:6-10

“God likes our sins even less than our neighbors do. But he treats them far differently.” Isn’t that the truth? We humans tend to judge, reject, and condemn people for being flawed (as we all are), but God “instructs” us, he “leads” us, and he “teaches us. “Our sins are an occasion not for harsh rejection, but for loving reconciliation.”

“I confess my sins to you, O Lord, confident that you will not reject this sinner, but find new ways to share your forgiveness and steadfast love, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Devotion of Hearing.”

And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
1 Samuel 3:10

Just because I have listened to one thing God says to me is not a guarantee that I will listen to all that he says. I tend to be obtuse toward many things that God tries to speak to me, and this is one way that I demonstrate disrespect toward him. Most of us would shudder to think that we had disobeyed the voice of Jesus at any point. But the thing that hinders me from hearing is that I am frequently too focused on other things. “It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place. I am devoted to things, to service, to convictions, and God may say what He likes but I do not hear him.” May we have more of the attitude of little Samuel, who, upon hearing the voice of God (after Eli set him straight about who it was that was calling him), eagerly proclaimed, “Speak, for your servant hears!”

May we hear God’s voice today!

Father, I confess that I don’t always listen to you. Even when I am supposed to be concentrating on these devotions, my mind and heart are drawn away by other things, from finances to entertainment. May I be more focused on you, that my life may be more consistent and stable. I have confidence that you hear me; may I cause you to have confidence that I hear you, as well.

I pray, still, for our friend and brother, Greg, that you might clear out his lungs and heal him.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Why We Don’t Love God

“Never put a sock in a toaster.”~~Eddie Izzard

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is broomball, “A team game similar to ice hockey and played on ice, but in which the players wear shoes or boots rather than ice skates and use (specially designed) brooms in attempting to push a ball into their opponents’ goal.” I have always wanted to play broomball, but, thus far, have not had an opportunity.

Today is Lost Penny Day. Not so much about actual lost pennies, this day is set aside to encourage people to gather up all of their loose change and donate it to the charity of their choice. Even “lost pennies” add up.

Let me tell you, it is good to be home. It is almost good to be getting up to go to work. I said, “almost.” I’m really tired after this week’s activities, but that’s not a complaint. My mother was feeling much better yesterday, and getting around pretty well when we left to come home. We had a nice afternoon with Rachel and Justin, having a late lunch with them. I also drove around town and took some pictures mostly of places that used to be something else when I was living in Mineral Wells. You can see the photos, if you so desire, on my Facebook page. I have set it to “public” so everyone should be able to see it. Oh, and if you’re wondering about all the pictures in the flower shop, I had stopped in to get something for Valentine’s Day. Plus the assistant at my mother’s surgeon’s office is the mother of the owner of the shop. Plus it’s allegedly haunted.

It’s Friday, so my “back to work” will only be for one day, and I’ll have the weekend to rest up for next week, which will, hopefully, be a week without bad news. I don’t think I’ve had one of those, yet, in 2016.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:1-5

If you really think about it, the concept of “trial and error” is really a pretty “poor strategy for learning how to live.” We have the “way of faith” shown to us with bright, shining “precedents and examples . . . that can save us both the embarrassment of being foolish and the pain of making mistakes.” Yet, we still manage to do both.

“O God, even as Abraham ‘set out, not knowing where he was going’ and arrived at the land of promise by your guidance, so I would make my way believing in your promises and guided by your commandments, looking to Jesus, the ‘pioneer and perfecter’ of my faith (Hebrews 11:8, 12:2). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Must I Listen?”

. . . and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”
Exodus 20:19

“We do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not heed Him.” We have the commands of God right in front of us, but we consistently fail to heed them, “not because of wilful disobedience but because we do not love and respect Him.” We certainly don’t want to hear that, do we? “But of course I love and respect God!!” What does Jesus say in John 14:15? “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” When we come to the realization that, based on the words of Jesus, it is possible that we truly don’t love God, we become “covered with shame and humiliation.”

The words of the Children of Israel in Exodus 20:19 are tragic. “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” “We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only.” Here’s how it works: If God speaks, we know that “either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him.” But when his servants speak, we can say, “Well, that’s just the voice of a man, and it’s his human thoughts. It might be God’s truth, but I really don’t have to do it, because it’s only a man telling me.”

The delight of hearing God, when once we do, “is tempered with shame in having been so long not hearing Him.”

Father, open my ears and my heart, that I might hear your voice. Mold my heart that I might love and respect you by doing that which you command me to do.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

In the Father; In Christ

Good morning. It is Wednesday, April 1, 2015. FIVE more days until Opening Day!!

Today’s Word of the Day, appropriately, is plisky. Plisky can be a noun, adverb, or adjective, most commonly meaning, “A mischievous trick; a frolic,” or, “An awkward or distressing situation; a predicament.” As an adverb, “Falsely, deceitfully,” and, as an adjective, “Mischievous; full of tricks; sly or underhand.” Why, you ask, is this an appropriate word for today? If you were to ask that, I would remind you what day it is.


Today is Sourdough Bread Day. I love sourdough bread! I would love it even more if someone would bring some to me!

Last night’s Huddle gathering was pretty good. We had some great conversation, the details of which I will not go into, for time reasons, but suffice to say that we discussed the Trinity (always a fun topic), and we also got into some things about Genesis and pre-fall conditions. It was great fun. I didn’t have time for much else, since it was Huddle night, and, we had so much fun discussing stuff, that I didn’t get home until after 9:00 PM, so I pretty much went straight to bed.

It was a decent work day, and I have continued to maintain a much better attitude. I’m still struggling to keep the Gospel at a central point in my thinking and attitude, though.


The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
Psalm 25:14

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Two of Our Deepest Needs.”

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Thessalonians 1:1

As a church, Paul describes us as being “in” the Father, and “in” the Lord. What does this mean to us?

The word “Father” implies “care and sustaining and protection and provision and discipline.” So if we are “in” the Father, we are under his protection and in his care.

The other statement is that we are “in” the Lord Jesus Christ. “Lord” implies “authority and leadership and ownership.” So if we are “in” the Lord, we are under his authority, in his possession, and in his charge.

Paul greets this church in Thessalonica in such a way as to remind them that they are a family (in the care of a Father) and servants (under the authority of a Lord). This seemingly trivial greeting speaks to two of our deepest needs. These two needs that everyone has (whether we realize it or not) are “the need for rescue and help and the need for purpose and meaning.”

1. “We need a heavenly Father to pity us and rescue us from sin and misery. We need his help at every step of the way because we are so weak and vulnerable.”
2. “But we also need a heavenly Lord to guide us in life and tell us what is wise and give us a great and meaningful charge to fulfill. We don’t just want to be safe in the care of a Father. We want a glorious cause to live for.”

We desire this merciful Father to be our Protector and Provider, and we desire this “omnipotent Lord” to be Champion, Commander, and Leader. So from half of Paul’s greeting we get rest and help, and from the other half we get courage and meaning.

Father, I thank you that I am both in you and in the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank you for the comfort that I get from having you as my Father, knowing that you care for me and provide for me. I also thank you for the purpose that I get from being in Christ as Lord. I don’t often consider the Champion and Commander aspect of Christ, as we tend to look more toward him as being our loving Savior. But he is truly, also, our Champion, and he is most definitely our Commander, as he has given us commands by which to live our lives. Furthermore, I see Jesus Christ as being the only “cause” worth giving my life for. As noted in yesterday’s reading, all of the world’s “moral causes” are too small to be considered. Yet, it seems that many well-meaning Christians give much energy to them. I find the cause of Christ to be the only one worthy my energy. Thank you for giving my life meaning. Thank you for providing for me and my family. Thank you for calling me and enabling me to be involved in your work on this earth.

I pray for this day, that we would have safe passage to work and home. I pray that Christi’s day would be less stressful today, and that she would be able to get accomplished whatever needs to be done. May she remember your presence with her throughout this day. I pray that Stephanie will know your love and remember the Gospel and the meaning it has in her life. I pray also, that I will remember the Gospel throughout this day, and that it will be fuel for my day, for my life. I pray for my parents, that you would give them peace and comfort as they rest in you. Keep them safe in their home. I pray for Rachel and Justin, that you would provide for them their deepest need on this day. Help Rachel find her path; open doors for her to achieve her dreams.

I pray for my Huddle brothers. May their day be full of your grace and mercy, and may they know your constant presence in their lives.

Your grace is sufficient.

As believers, we are both in the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Take comfort in this and the meaning that it has for us.

Grace and peace, friends.

Seeing Diamonds As Marbles

Good morning. It is post-Monday, March 31, 2015. Last day of March. Six more days until Opening Day!!

Today’s Word of the Day is precocious. Now, here is a word that may not mean what I thought it meant. The first definition has to do with flowers or plants: “flowering, fruiting, etc., unusually early; spec. producing flowers before the leaves are developed. Also: (of flowers or fruit) appearing or produced unusually early; (of flowering or fruiting) occurring unusually early.” Used figuratively, “Of, relating to, or indicative of precocity or premature development; occurring prematurely.” Or, “Of a person (now esp. a child): prematurely developed or showing an unusual degree of advancement in some faculty, ability, or proclivity; (hence, of attributes, behaviour, etc.) indicative of such development.” So is it possible that it was misused in “Bette Davis Eyes?”

Today is World Backup Day. This does not mean you should live the day in reverse. What it does mean is that you should back up your data files! It’s easier than ever to do this, now, what with the seemingly limitless “cloud” resources. For example, I just learned, a few days ago, that I have unlimited photo storage in the cloud with my Amazon Prime account! So you bet I’m taking advantage of that! I already have a hard drive back up system on my PC, but having this additional source helps me feel a little more confident that I’ll not lose all of my pictures. You know . . . the ones I hardly ever look at . . . Someday, though. Someday.

I had a much better day at work, yesterday. The attitude was a lot better, and I felt more connected yesterday, for the most part. This morning, however, I don’t feel 100%. I think I’ve got some sinus drainage going on, and didn’t sleep well, last night. I’m having some trouble waking up. So if I say anything that doesn’t make sense, here, that’s my explanation.

Excuse me while I kiss the sky.

Tonight is Huddle. I never know what to expect there. New adventures every week.


He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.

Psalm 25:9-13

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

(From Solid Joys)

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel.
Colossians 1:3-5

Today’s reading is “What Binds the Hands of Love.”

“The problem with the church today is not that there are too many people who are passionately in love with heaven. The problem is not that professing Christians are retreating from the world, spending half their days reading Scripture and the other half singing about their pleasures in God all the while indifferent to the needs of the world.

“The problem is that professing Christians are spending ten minutes reading Scripture and then half their day making money and the other half enjoying and repairing what they spend it on.”

Worldly-mindedness hinders love, even when it is “disguised by a religious routine on the weekend.”

Where are the people who are so in love with heaven that they feel like exiles on earth? Where are the people who have tasted heaven to the point that the diamonds of earth are as marbles to them, the entertainment of the world is totally void, and the causes of earth “are too small because they have no view to eternity?”

These people are not “in bondage to the Internet or eating or sleeping or drinking or partying or fishing or sailing or putzing around.” They are free people in a foreign land. How can one who feels like an exile maximize enjoyment of God? By doing labors of love, that’s how.

“Only one thing satisfies the heart whose treasure is in heaven: doing the works of heaven. And heaven is a world of love!”

The “cords of heaven” do not bind the hands of love. “It is the love of money and leisure and comfort and praise — these are the cords that bind the hands of love. And the power to sever these cords is Christian hope.”

“The great fountain of love is the powerful, freeing confidence of Christian hope.”

This reading convicts me. But does it convict me enough to do something about it?

Father, I confess . . . I am a slave to the Internet, to entertainment, to eating and sleeping, and to other things of this world. Unfortunately, it is the state of our culture that I pretty much have to spend a large portion of my day working to pay the bills and put food on the table. This is our lot as humans. But that does not have to rule my life. Help me to focus more on you, Lord, than I do on Facebook. Help me to “pray without ceasing,” even while I am working. May your Spirit guide me to being more heavenly-minded than worldly-minded, to the point that the “diamonds of the world look like marbles, the entertainment of the world is empty, and the moral causes of the world are too small.” Break my heart, O God. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Change it.

I pray for this day. May we have safe passage to work and back today. I pray for Christi’s day, that it would be less stressful than yesterday. I pray that we would not spend time worrying over things that are not important, or things that have not yet happened. (That last one is more about me.) I pray that you would show Stephanie your great love today, and draw her closer to your heart. Inspire her to read and think on your words today. I pray for our Huddle gathering tonight, that it would be glorifying to your name.

May you bring peace to my parents today, and continue my mother’s healing. Shower them with grace today, and grant them what they need most for this day. I pray the same prayer for Rachel and Justin, and that you would draw them closer to you. help Rachel figure out her future, that she may realize her career desires.

Your grace is sufficient.

This reading hit me kind of hard today. So much so that I don’t have a lot to say about it. I have some praying and pondering to do. May we all seek to be more heavenly-minded than worldly-minded. The future grace and glory of heaven is worth infinitely more than the marbles of earth.

Grace and peace, friends.

Secure In Him

Good morning. It is Monday, March 30, 2015. Seven days until Opening Day!

It is also Monday of Holy Week, as we count down to Easter Sunday.

Today’s Word of the Day is paradiddle. I actually know this one. It is a drummming rudiment. “One of the basic patterns (rudiments) of drumming, consisting of four even strokes played in the order ‘left right left left’ or ‘right left right right’.” It has also been known to be used figuratively, as in, “My heart just did a paradiddle.”

Today is Take A Walk In the Park Day. Sure seems like yesterday would have been a better day for that. Of course, I would much rather take a walk in the park than go to work.

We had a very nice visit with everyone, yesterday. We called in an order to The Mesquite Pit, and Christi and Mama went to pick it up. We had a nice time, eating around their table, at lunch, along with some great conversation. We had a some fantastic strawberry cake that Christi made yesterday morning, singing “Happy Birthday” to Rachel and Mama beforehand. After we left their house, we stopped by the McDonald’s in town to meet the guy that Stephanie likes, who happens to live in Mineral Wells. It was the first time we had met him in person (their “relationship” is pretty much strictly online), and he seems like a nice young man.

Today, it’s back to the grind, but, hopefully with a different attitude, as I try to allow the Gospel to color everything I do.


Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
Psalm 25:8

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “He Will Keep Us Safe.”

[Our Lord Jesus Christ], who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:8-9

“What are you depending on that your faith will last until Jesus comes?”

This is a valid question, that we should ask ourselves on a regular basis. I believe in eternal security, but the question is, “How are we kept secure?” Does my perseverance rest on my own resolve? (Heaven forbid!!) Or does it, rather, rest on God’s ability to keep me trusting?

“It is a great and wonderful truth of Scripture that God is faithful, and will keep forever those whom he has called.” My confidence that I am eternally secure is not confidence in my ability to be obedient, but confidence on God’s ability to keep me.

Here are some passages that speak to the certainty that God is able and will keep us secure.

1. [Our Lord Jesus Christ], who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:8-9)
2. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
3. Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. (Jude 1:1-2)

God, who is faithful, will keep us secure in Christ.

Father, I praise you for this truth, a great truth to begin the week with! As I head to work, this morning, looking back to my miserable failure on Friday, I pray that this truth will ring loudly in my ears, that you have kept me secure in you. Let my confidence be in you, as I work today, and I pray that the Gospel, which is enough for every circumstance in my life, will color everything that I do, think, and say, today. If I begin to slip into sour attitudes, as last Friday, I pray that your Spirit will immediately transform my thinking toward the Gospel, reminding me who I am and whose I am. May we also remember that these promise that you are keeping us secure in you are not promises for health, prosperity, and even physical safety. They are promises that we are secure, spiritually, in you, for all eternity.

I pray for this day, that our passage to work and back will be safe and smooth. May our work day resonate with the truth of your calling on our lives. May the Gospel enable us to handle any circumstance that comes our way. I pray for Stephanie, that your love will be evident to her, and that your presence will be known by her. May you give my parents peace, today, and continue my mother’s wonderful recovery and healing. I also pray for healing and muscle restoration for my father. Give Rachel and Justin peace, today, as well, and may you help them find your plan for their future.

Your grace is sufficient, and the Gospel is enough.

Our God is able, and is faithful, to keep us secure in him, for all eternity. This I believe with all my heart.

Grace and peace, friends.

The Gospel is Everything

Good morning. It is Sunday, March 29, 2015. Eight more days until Opening Day!! As I noted on my Facebook page, I realize that there is a game on the evening of April 5. Neither one of my teams are involved, so I’m not counting that one.

Today is Rachel’s birthday!! (Our oldest daughter.) Happy birthday, Rachel!!

Today is also Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, while the crowds laid palm branches down on the road in front of him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (See Matthew 21, Mark 11, and John 12.)

Today’s Word of the Day is movable feast. I like this because it has the word “feast” in it. 🙂 “A religious feast day which, though always on the same day of the week, does not occur on the same calendar date each year.” Easter is an example of such a “movable feast.” Another definition is offered: “In extended use: anything which may appear, occur, etc., at varying times or dates.”

Today is Smoke and Mirrors Day. This, of course, is a phrase that means someone is creating an illusion of some sort. Prestidigitators are said to use “smoke and mirrors” in some of their tricks. Politicians are also said to use “smoke and mirrors” as they attempt to convince anyone at all that they are telling the truth about anything. There is also a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman, called Smoke and Mirrors. Not to mention an album by Imagine Dragons.

Yesterday was nice day, I believe. I went out with Christi to do the grocery shopping, along with another stop or two, and we had a nice time together. After groceries, we went to Fogata’s for lunch (our usual Saturday lunch stop), and then went back home to get ready for our evening worship and prayer gatherings. Both of those went very well, as did the Pastoral Assist Team meeting after church. The pastor’s sermon last night was, once again, pretty amazing. I will touch on some of that in a bit.

Today, in a little over an hour (which means I need to get cracking, here), we will be leaving to go to Mineral Wells to meet up with my parents, and Rachel and Justin. Today, as mentioned above, is Rachel’s birthday, and Mama’s is April 8. We will celebrate both of them today. We have gifts and cards for both.

It was on this date in 1973 that the last U.S. combat soldiers left South Vietnam. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Today’s birthdays include our daughter Rachel (psychology student), John Tyler (10th President), Cy Young (pitcher), William Walton (composer), E. Power Biggs (concert organist), Pearl Bailey (singer/actress), Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (we know him as the musician, “vangelis”), Eric Idle (Monty Python’s Flying Circus), Denny McLain (pitcher), Terry Jacks (musician), Billy Thorpe (singer), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Brendan Gleeson (actor), Earl Campbell (football player), Patty Donahue (singer), Christopher Lambert (actor), Perry Farrell (musician, founder of Lollapalooza), Elle Pacpherson (model), Lucy Lawless (actress), Sue Foley (blues guitarist), Jennifer Capriati (tennis player), and Megan Hilty (actress).

Vangelis, probably most famous for the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire was born on this date in 1943, which makes him 72 today. My favorite thing of his, though, is is occasional collaboration with Jon Anderson, of Yes fame. There are a number of albums by Jon and Vangelis. My favorite piece in all of these is this one, called “Friends of Mr. Cairo.” It’s long, about twelve minutes, but worth a listen.


Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

Psalm 25:6-7

I stated, earlier, that I would make more reference to the pastor’s message from last night. The scripture for his message is Colossians 2:1-7.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

The message centered on the thought that we should be encouraged, and that we should walk in Christ, just as we received him, which was by grace through faith. Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter, and he spoke of the great struggle that he endured for those to whom he is writing. How can Paul’s struggling, or suffering, be an encouragement to us? There were a couple of answers.

1. The Gospel is worth suffering for, because it is real and it is true.
2. The Gospel sustains us during suffering. Paul was able to rejoice in his suffering, because his joy was rooted in the Gospel. The Gospel is enough.

C.S. Lewis said, “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” There are too many things that we could lose at any moment, in which we tend to place our happiness.

Why, then, is the Gospel not enough for us? Four reasons:

1. We look for joy in all the wrong places. Job, relationship, hobby, and so on.
2. We leave the Gospel behind. “I need a new book.” We have heard the Gospel so many times, that we begin to leave it behind, and proceed to enact number one, above, looking for truth in the latest book or whatever.
3. We try to pay it back, thereby ruining the Gospel. We need to learn to receive. There is no way that we could ever pay Jesus back for his sacrifice.
4. We don’t believe the Gospel. This one really hurts, because, as Christians, that is what we are supposed to believe! But when we go looking for joy in the wrong places, or leaving it behind, or trying to pay it back, we proclaim that we don’t truly believe it. It is, ultimately, about joy.

The Gospel is not just the foundation of our faith. It is not the ABC of Christianity. It is everything. It is A-Z.

When I began to consider the day I had at work on Friday, and my reaction to that day of frustration, I was broken. This message pointed out to me that I handled it all wrong. I did not believe the Gospel. I left it behind, and allowed anger and frustration to control me. My first thought, after realizing this, was, “I have a lot of work to do.” But then, I immediately stopped, realizing that that was exactly the wrong answer! The work is done! Jesus died and rose again on the third day! I don’t have to work! I simply have to believe and allow the Gospel to be all in all to me, in every circumstance of my life!

Easier said than done, I know. But it is the truth.

Father, help me to make this truth real in my life! I pray for no more days of failure like Friday. May your grace carry me through those days and those circumstances where, even though frustration might be legitimate, it does not have to rule me. Thank you for your faithful servant Jacob, and his willingness to deliver your message to us.

I pray for this day, that we might have safe travel to and from Mineral Wells, and a great time with family. Bless us as we celebrate birthdays, today.

How can we rejoice in suffering? Remember that the Gospel is everything, and have our joy rooted in the truth of the Gospel, not in anything that we may lose.

Grace and peace, friends.

Make Me to Know Your Ways, O LORD

Good morning. It is Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nine more days until Opening Day!!!

Today’s word of the day is trope. I’m familiar with this word, and have seen it used, before, but was never quite sure of its meaning. Turns out it has a LOT of meanings. (Please note the correct usage of “a lot.”) I won’t be quoting all of them. It begins with I. “A particular manner or mode.” Under that heading is 1.a. “Rhetoric. A figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it. Hence (more generally): a figure of speech; (an instance of) figurative or metaphorical language.” b. “Music. A manner of playing; a mode; a harmonization. Obs.” 2. “Christian Church. A phrase, sentence, or verse, usually sung, introduced in the medieval Western Church as an embellishment into some part of the text of the Mass or of the breviary office, esp. at the close of a psalm or response.” Skipping to 7. “A significant or recurrent theme, esp. in a literary or cultural context; a motif.” Then there are other uses in relationship to astronomy and mathematics.

Today is Weed Appreciation Day. Before you get all bent out of shape, I’m not talking about that kind of weed! I’m talking about what my back yard mostly consists of. Hey, some of those weeds produce some pretty flowers. Dandelions, for example, are weeds. And I’ve always been quite fond of thistles. So throw some love at some weeds today!

I probably shouldn’t write much about yesterday. Twelve hours. I was not a “happy camper,” so to speak. I will say this . . . as I was driving home, just the sound of my sweet wife’s voice worked wonders in alleviating my stress and anger. I could feel it coming off of me in waves as we talked. I love you, Christi, and am so very grateful that God put you in my life thirty years ago.

I’m not sure what is in store for today. We have our usual prayer and worship gatherings, this evening, beginning at 4:45. If you are in the area, come check us out. We are The Exchange.

Tomorrow, we are planning a trip back to Mineral Wells to visit with my parents, along with Rachel and Justin, hopefully. Tomorrow is Rachel’s birthday, and my mother’s is a week from Wednesday, so we decided to celebrate them both tomorrow.

It was on this date in 1979 that the Three Mile Island incident occurred. Operators failed to notice that a relief valve in the primary coolant system had stuck open, allowing sufficient coolant to drain to cause a partial meltdown.

Today’s birthdays include Teresa of Avila (Carmelite nun and saint), August Anheuser Busch, Jr. (brewer and baseball executive), Marlin Perkins (zoologist), Jay Livingston (composer and songwriter), Conchata Ferrell (actress), John Evan (keyboard player for Jethro Tull), Dianne Wiest (actress), Reba McEntire (singer), Vince Vaughn (actor), Julia Stiles (actress), and Lady Gaga (singer).

John Evan is a keyboard player, born on this date in 1948. He played keyboards for Jethro Tull from 1970 to 1980. He is featured in this performance of “Locomotive Breath,” from their Aqualung album. He plays piano on this song, and I have read that he composed the introduction to the song.

Just for kicks, I want to share this video of Ann and Nancy Wilson performing “Stairway To Heaven” in a tribute show for Led Zeppelin. In my opinion, it’s one of, if not the, most beautiful version of this song, made so by the addition of an orchestra and choir. Plus Nancy does a fantastic job of playing the intro. She is an amazing (and totally underrated) guitar player. It is also fun to watch the members of Led Zeppelin as they react to the performance.


Of David.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:1-5

(From Heart Aflame)

David begins this psalm with words that indicate that he is “not driven here and there, after the manner of the ungodly,” but that all of his desires are directed to God and God alone. “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.” We must be consistent in our prayers, that we do not allow our gaze to waver about. I confess that I struggle with this, especially when I’m praying on my morning drive to work. And it is not just the traffic that distracts me (that is a necessary distraction), but, in the midst of my prayer, of my lifting up of the soul to the Lord, I find my mind wandering off to unrelated topics. We must have our hope fixed on the Lord. “In order, therefore, that we may pray aright to God, let us be directed by this rule: not to distract our minds by various and uncertain hopes, not to depend on worldly aid, but to yield to God the honour of lifting up our hearts to him in sincere and earnest prayer.”

In verse 4, David prays, “Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.” This is a prayer that we find many times in various psalms. It is very similar to Psalm 86:11, which I have made my “life verse.” “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” When we pray, thus, we ask God to keep our path straight, not allowing us to turn to the right or to the left. “When our minds are thus composed to patience, we undertake nothing rashly or by improper means, but depend wholly upon the providence of God.” There is great wisdom in that sentence. How often do we run ahead of the Lord, because we think he is not answering quickly enough? In this psalm, “David desires not merely to be directed by the Spirit of God, lest he should err from the right way, but also that God would clearly manifest to him his truth and faithfulness in the promises of his word, that he might live in peace before him, and be free from all impatience.”

Father, make me to know your ways! Lead me in your truth and teach me! Help me to wait on you, and to not act rashly in any circumstance. I acknowledge that yesterday was a glaring example of my failure, yet again, to allow your Spirit to rule in my life. I went into the day frustrated with the circumstances, and that frustration grew and grew until the end of the day, twelve hours later. Yes, it was a long day. Yes, the circumstances were probably unfair, due to management ignorance, but there were people on our team that were there longer than I was, some as much as fourteen hours! Regardless of the circumstances, Father, it is my duty to seek your face, and to allow your Spirit to reign in me. I confess I was not a good emissary of your Kingdom yesterday. So I find myself still praying the same prayers from David. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Take my eyes off of me and keep them on you. You are the God of my salvation. May I truly wait on you.

I pray for this day. As we go out and about to do what needs to be done, may your grace shine on us. I pray for the activities of the day. May our prayer and worship time, this evening, be glorifying and honoring to your name. Speak to us through your servant Jacob, that our lives might be enriched by your Word. I pray for our PAT meeting after the gatherings, that it would be productive, but that we would have good fellowship, as well.

Make me an instrument of your peace.

May we know the God of our salvation, and may he direct our paths, that we might not turn to the right or to the left. May he make us to know his ways faithfully.

Psalm 25-4

Grace and peace, friends.

Finding Ourselves in Suffering

Good morning. It’s Monday again. Monday, June 25, 2012. we have a week of 100+ temperatures predicted. Welcome to summer. Today is “National Catfish Day.” Am I supposed to eat one or pet one? I don’t know. I probably won’t be able to do either, though.
On this date in 1876, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeated General Custer in the Battle of Little Bighorn. On this date in 1950, the Korean War began. I believe my uncle, Jamie Bickley, served in this war. On this date in 2009, Michael Jackson died.
On yesterday’s date in this year, the Boston Red Sox traded Kevin Youkillis to the Other Sox. I’m very sad about that. I said during the off season that 2012 was going to be a painful year to be a Red Sox fan. I had no idea… However, they did win yesterday, getting up to four games over .500, and the Rangers took the series from the Colorado Rockies with a 4-2 victory that should have been 4-0. Joe Nathan struggled greatly during the top of the ninth last night, and Josh Hamilton probably saved the game with a spectacular catch out in left-center field.
We were at that game, along with Stephanie’s boyfriend, Scottie. We sat in the grueling sun, just to the right of the left field foul pole for the 605pm start. Fortunately, we found some Neutrogena 100+ Sunblock! I didn’t even know they made 100+spf! It apparently worked, as I have hardly any pink spots on me after sitting in that sun for pretty much two hours. We don’t usually sit in that area, but these seats were acquired by some people where I work for a group night at the ballpark.

Today is a new day; a new week. Here’s hoping for some good days this week. One of our supervisors is on vacation where I work, so that always creates potential for added stress.

Father, I pray for some vision of you this morning that will help me live this day looking to you.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 25.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

Those are just a few of the verses of this psalm, which, written by David, actually is a good prayer to each of us to pray for ourselves. I’ve found, over the years, that I really like praying the Psalms. There is such a diversity of emotion in them. This particular one is good for confession and forgiveness.

My Utmost For His Highest

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” John 12:27-28

Today’s reading is called “Receiving One’s Self in the Fires of Sorrow.” Doesn’t that sound uplifting? I’m going to quote the whole first paragraph.
“My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.” OH, but I’m all about praying that I be kept out of trouble, right?
We say that there should be no sorrow. I’ve even encountered people who foolishly believe that the Christian should never have trouble in the life. But this is not so. We do encounter sorrow; we do encounter trouble, “and we have to receive ourselves in the fires.” These things exist, God does not make mistakes, so there must be a reason for them, and we must receive them.
Have you ever encountered someone who as received himself in the fires of sorrow? I have. You know it when you see them. And the thing is, when you find someone like that, you are are confident that you can go to that person in your own sorrow, and he will have time for you. “If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.” This is where I desire to be. I desire to be “nourishment for other people.” Does this mean I’m asking for sorrow? Emphatically, no! In fact, nowhere in Scripture are we ever told to look for sorrow and suffering. We are simply told that we will find them.
This applies directly to my recent feeling that I am headed for a ministry of intercessory prayer. I have to be aware of myself and my attitude about sorrow and suffering; about the grief that was described yesterday. I must not be asking my Father to keep me out of trouble, but to preserve me when it comes. I have to receive myself in the fires of sorrow.
A quick testimony: Yesterday morning, as we prepared for the worship celebration, the background vocalist, Summer, came back stage. She was having pain and discomfort in the area of the gall bladder. She had been to the doctor and was given some medication. Tests were run. They didn’t have any results yet. She was doing okay, but we could tell that she wasn’t right. We had our usual pre-service prayer time. During that time, I felt strongly that we needed to pray over Summer. But I’m not the “leader” and I didn’t say anything. After the service was over, I couldn’t let it go. I felt very strongly that God wanted me to lead out in this. So I grabbed some people and said, “We need to pray for Summer.” And we did. She wound up going to the ER last night, but nothing was done yet, because the test results aren’t back yet. Did the prayer accomplish anything? Of course it did…we don’t know what yet, but it accomplished something, if nothing else, letting this saint know that people care and pay attention to God. The purpose of this testimony is not to show that I am super-spiritual, because I’m not. It is to show that, when God wants us to do something, he will hound us until we do it! He would not leave me alone on this yesterday, and I finally did something about it. This is what intercessory prayer is about…it is constantly listening (and that’s something I really need work on) to the “voice” of God via the Holy Spirit’s promptings and then acting. I need serious prayer as I learn how to do this.

Father, I thank you for helping me deal with this subject today. I praise you that you are always there for us in times of sorrow and suffering. I thank you that you will save us, not from ever experiencing sorrow and suffering, but you will save us out of them when they occur. I do not feel that I have truly suffered much in my life. There has been sorrow, and yes, there have been times of great anxiety as we have struggled through issues. But, true to your promise, you have kept us secure through these times, even on occasions when I almost felt as though you had abandoned us.
So this morning, I ask for the attitude of the saint that Chambers described. May I find myself in the sorrows that come to my life. May I discover myself truly in the light of your grace and mercy as storms come to my life. I will not ask to be kept out of the storm. I will, rather, ask that my life be preserved through the storm, and that, as I enter into this “ministry” that you have led me toward, that this “self” that I find will be, as Chambers said, “nourishment for others.” Again, Father, I am not asking for notoriety or fame. I am not asking to be known as a “prayer warrior.” I simply want to be known as someone that people believe that they can trust; someone in whom people have confidence that their needs will be prayed for; someone with compassion. I pray that you would take away the cynicism which has marked a good part of my life. May I approach this life with, not innocence, for there is little of that left, but purity in your Spirit.

I pray for this day today, Lord. I pray that Christi will have a successful day at her work, and that your presence will be strong with her today. I pray that same for my day. I pray that we will have success and that the absence of the other supervisor will bring no added stress to the day.

I pray for Summer today, Lord, as she awaits results from tests to see if she will need her gall bladder removed. I also pray for continued recovery for Bart after his surgery.

I will continue praying on the way to work, Father.

Find yourself in the sorrow and suffering. As saints of God, we should not ask to be kept from suffering, rather we should ask to be preserved through it.

Grace and peace, friends.