We need to “develop lives that connect what God did in the past with what he will do in the future. Will we live in spasms and jerks, in fits and starts, in fads and fashions? or will we live coherently and organically, believing that God will complete what he has begun? The expectant command is for us to love.”

Today is Saturday, the twenty-sixth of March, 2022, in the third week of Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,389

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a couple weeks. Why? Because, today, C and I are going out to “celebrate” my birthday, which was two weeks ago. She had to work that weekend, and I had to work last Saturday, so we now have this Saturday to get out and do some things.

She has one thing planned for us that is a surprise. After that, we will have lunch and then head to Grapevine for a couples’ massage. I’m really looking forward to that. I have no idea where we will have lunch, nor do I really have a clue what the first activity will be. I do know that it’s not axe-throwing.

Next week will be busy, but not bad. I have a podiatrist appointment Monday morning, and a vein clinic appointment on Thursday morning. I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, so there is something going on every day. It will be okay, though.

My schedule may change slightly, going forward. One of the aides who works exclusively in the Computer Center got a job at the Irving library. he is not quitting Hurst, but may have to shift hours some, which may leave a whole in Computer Center coverage. Not sure what that will look like, just yet. But my manager told me yesterday about it, during our monthly one-on-one. It won’t increase my hours, and it sounds like the sixteen hours a week in circulation will stay the same, so I may not be doing shelving every Tuesday. We shall see.

Speaking of my manager, who is the coolest ever, well, let me give a tiny bit of back story. We have posters spread around the library, that simply have the word “READ” on them, featuring various celebrities holding books. There is one in particular, on the back wall in the non-fiction section, that I had expressed interest in having, should they ever change them or replace them. I believe I expressed said interest multiple times.

When I arrived at work, yesterday, there was a rolled-up poster in my inbox.

My boss is awesome! And yes, I might have a bit of a “crush” on Rachel McAdams.


"Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
(The Book of Common Prayer, Morning Collect for Daily Devotions)

No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
(Matthew 5:15-16 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for this lovely Saturday and its forthcoming events
2. that we, followers of Christ, are to be light in this world; go forth and shine!
3. that our relationship with God gives us dignity; may we extend that same dignity to our fellow human beings!
4. for the expectancy that God is going to move and that He will finish what He started
5. that I am loved, and that you are loved; YOU ARE LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Today’s prayer word is “light.” Now, there is a word that is replete with meaning. I mean, how many different meanings can you think of for the word “light?” In this case, it refers that that which obliterates the darkness.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
(Ephesians 5:8 NIV)

Now, what I find interesting in this verse (and admit having not noticed it before) is that the verse, at least in my favorite translations (ESV, included) states that the recipients of the letter WERE darkness and ARE light. This is a state of being, not a characteristic that was possessed. NLT and MSG indicate that the people were once full of darkness, but now have light. Honestly, I’m not a Greek scholar, so I don’t know which one is correct.

But the idea that one could be so full of darkness that one actually becomes darkness, and the resulting change of knowing Christ is that one actually becomes light . . . that idea appeals to me, greatly. And we have the admonition, that is pretty much the same in each translation, “Live as children of light.”

The writer, known only as “Becky,” speaks of entering a friend’s home, shrouded in darkness, as the friend wallowed in depression, and throwing open curtains to allow the light in. I like that example.

“Maybe that’s what Jesus wants me to do – throw open the curtains for others, allowing His light to illuminate the darkness around them.” I like that. But here’s what that doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean noisily and hatefully expressing our opinions in the name of “right” or “light.”

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
(1 John 1:5 ESV)

But, the following is also true:

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:8 ESV)

And . . .

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
(1 John 4:16 ESV)

So don’t go trying to be “light” without also being “love.”

(From Pray a Word a Day)

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
(Psalms 133:1 ESV)

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
(Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

Two are better than one, 
because they have a good reward for their toil. 
For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. 
But woe to him who is alone when he falls 
and has not another to lift him up! 
Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, 
but how can one keep warm alone? 
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, 
two will withstand him—
a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV)

So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
(1 Corinthians 12:24-26 NLT)

As God’s people, we should live lives of expectancy. Instead, a large number of us seem to live lives of reaction. We react to circumstances around us, and we are not reacting well. We are complaining and whining about minor inconveniences, as though we believe the world is about to end. It may be about to end, but that is not because gas prices hit $4 a gallon again.

God’s typical movement is to approach us. He “comes,” He does not “leave.” He comes and He speaks, and we need to be awake to this truth.

We need to “develop lives that connect what God did in the past with what he will do in the future. Will we live in spasms and jerks, in fits and starts, in fads and fashions? or will we live coherently and organically, believing that God will complete what he has begun? The expectant command is for us to love.”

And then this:

“We ought to cultivate the skills that equip us to live in cheerful anticipation of what God will do tomorrow. Will we live anxiously, complaining and querulous, because we don’t have all we want or because we don’t know what is coming next? Or will we live in confident joy, sure that God’s next move will be a good one? The expectant command is for us to rejoice.”

(From On Living Well, by Eugene H. Peterson)

So let’s pull this all together, here. We are light. We are expected to imitate Jesus in being the “light of the world.” We are also supposed to be love, as God is love. So we can be light, removing the darkness, not by violence and fighting, but by shining and loving! When you turn on a lightbulb in a room, there is no fighting or violence. There is no explosion, and there is no noise. The lightbulb simply and quietly shines.

Father, oh, Father! My heart is full of praise and expectation in this moment! You have filled me with light, and love! Thank You for the Light of the world, Jesus! And thank You for infusing us with that same Light, so that we might also be light in this world. I pray for us, Your children, Lord, that we might truly shine as light, blocking the darkness. But remind us, oh, please remind us, that we do not accomplish this with violence and fighting, but simply by allowing Your light to shine through us.

I pray for unity within Your Church, Lord. And I desperately pray that, if there are those who will not be unified, that they would just leave. I’m serious. I would love to see the ones who insist on fighting, complaining, and whining, just get out. Let them go start their own “church.” Let Your Church be filled with people who want to live and walk in the words of Jesus Christ, loving You and loving others as themselves. Let the witch hunters and haters be brought down, Lord. There is no place for hatred in Your kingdom!

That being said, I would rather see said folks repent and begin to shine and love.

Help me to live a life of expectancy, being awake to Your coming and speaking in my life, being filled with love, fully believing that You will finish what You started, both in me and in this world/universe, and rejoicing, believing that what You are going to do next will not only be good, but will be excellent and praiseworthy!

All glory to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
(2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Hybrid Christians

Today is Saturday, October 7, 2017. Day 21,758. Five days until our 32nd anniversary and a four day weekend!!

Rachel McAdams, who was born on this date in 1976, said, “With any project I work on – not just ‘True Detective’ – I don’t feel the need just to play a strong woman. I don’t want the audience to say, ‘Oh, she was so strong.’ I want to play characters that are flawed and interesting.”

Today’s word of the day, from, is collogue, which means, “to confer secretly,” or, “to plot mischief; conspire.”

Today is Random Acts of Poetry Day. I’m not quite sure what to do with that. Perhaps I’ll pull a poem out of my hat. And write about things that rhyme with cat. Or maybe I’ll just sit and chat. For now, I think that’s enough of that.

Well, the Astros pummeled the Red Sox again, yesterday, 8-2. So the ‘stros are up 2-0 in that series. I’m hoping that the Sox at least don’t get swept again, like last year, but I don’t have much hope that they can shut down the Astros lineup three times. They are just too strong, this year. The Indians beat the Yankees again, but it took them thirteen innings. The wound up winning 9-8. It’s looking like an Astros/Indians ALCS, which will be quite the battle, I think. I’ll be pulling for Terry Francona and company in this one. That’s the Indians, in case you didn’t know.

In that other league, the Cubs shut out the Nationals 3-0, and the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 9-5. I don’t really care a whole lot about who wins the NL. But I do slightly favor the Cubbies over the Nats, and wish that the D-backs could knock out the Dodgers.

In other news, C has her knee replacement surgery scheduled for Halloween morning, which is just fine with us. It gets us past our getaway weekend for our anniversary, and allows time for recovery and therapy before the deductibles reset for a new year.

Today, we will be traveling to east Texas for my cousin’s wedding, in which S will be a bridesmaid. It’s a rather informal affair, with the wedding happening in her mother’s back yard. At least it will be at 6:30 in the evening, so it won’t be quite so hot. But this is Texas, and even thought it’s technically Autumn, we are still looking at 90 degrees for a high today. Bleah.

Also, I will not be taking a computer with me on this short trip, so there will not be a blog post tomorrow morning.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 
Psalm 57:8
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

Agnus Dei
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father.

Glory to God
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
Psalm 31:5
You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
John 15:14-17
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. 
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. 
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, 
in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!

Psalm 116:16-19

(From Practice Resurrection)

This segment of Chapter 5, subtitled “Acquired Passivity,” is bold and brutal, and sets up what will come later in the chapter. Peterson begins by saying, “A good part of growing up in the land of resurrection, growing up in Christ, involves practicing a kind of acquired passivity.” He acknowledges that the word “passivity” has a kind of bad odor in our culture and language, conjuring up images of people who are lazy, lacking ambition, couch potatoes, and so on. Our culture pushes people. Our culture teaches us to admire people who have ambition, drive, who “get-up-and-go.”

Ambition and drive certainly have their place, giving people the resources to make money, get academic degrees, win wars, climb Mt. Everest, make touchdowns, and hit home runs. “But such goals, all of them much lauded by our culture, have very little to do in themselves with living a mature life, living ‘to the praise of his glory.'”

All of these ambitions, as well as the disciplines that go along with them, can be pursued, and often are, “without conscience, without love, without compassion, without humility, without generosity, without righteousness, without holiness.” In other words, apart from maturity. We see immaturity all around us in our celebrities, our athletes, our scholars and scientists.

“These are the men and women who set the standards for a life fueled by ambition, getting to the top, making a name for themselves, beating out the competition.” But do any of us really want to live that way?

If we stop to think about it, surely not. “The misery, the emptiness, the superficiality, the boredom, the desolation that accompanies this kind of living is devastating, not only to the individuals involved but to their families and communities.” Their lives are “radically different . . . from the life of Jesus and the resurrection life of Jesus that Paul uses as his text for living a mature human life.”

This is truly nothing new. Our life is really no different from life in the ancient world, at least in this regard. “What is different is that North Americans, by and large, exempt themselves from any sense of cultural and societal kinship, especially in terms of immaturity, with the ancients. We assume that we are different, better, and more advance.” It’s obvious, isn’t it, that we are so much more advanced as human begins. Or is it? In addition to all this, we have “this rich Judeo-Christian heritage, forming our identity as ‘Christian.’ A Christian nation. A Christian culture. A Christian person.”

We have taken the culture of Christianity and the culture of America and created a hybrid: the American Christian. We have taken “what we think is the best of each to produce a hybrid: American Christian, Christian America.” We have become “hybrid Christians.”

But if we look at history, we see that the ancient Hebrews lived among people who were just as culturally advanced as we are. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians had quite sophisticated technology and mathematics, which allowed them to produce some pretty “astonishing architectural feats, including pyramids and intricate irrigation systems.” The pyramids continue to mystify even the most modern architects. The artistry and philosophy of the Persians, Greeks, and Romans are still well-regarded by many today.

But in spite of this, the Hebrews “were fiercely jealous of the integrity of their souls and vigilantly guarded their image-of-God identity.” They did not assimilate the lifestyles of those nations around them, while taking advantage of benefiting from their libraries and technologies.

“The stories of Abraham and Moses, Elijah and Jeremiah, Daniel and Esther are all energetically countercultural.” These people lived alongside and among these other cultures while remaining uncompromising “in their rejection of the divine pretensions and sexual profligacies of their leaders in government and the arts, and the superficial idolatries in all the so-called best families.”

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John present God as crucified, in their texts that showed us the way to live a mature life. “The cross was a ‘stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles’ (1 Cor. 1:23) in the time of Jesus.” And it continues to be such a stumbling block in our culture, today; a culture that “worships power and self-indulgence, a culture that divinizes human achievement.”

We, as Christians, are the only people on earth who worship a crucified savior. And this crucified savior appears to everyone else to be “a rejected, humiliated, and failed Savior.”

Unfortunately, unlike our Hebrew ancestors, and even unlike our ancient Christian ancestors, we insist on cross-fertilizing American and Christian to come up with this hybrid thing. Sometimes, hybrids can be good. But the word, itself, from the Latin hybrida, literally means “mongrel, the offspring of a tame sow and a wild boar.”

“When the wild bull of American ambition is bred with a tame Christianity with no cross, the result is mongrel spirituality–a ‘Christian’ with both the image of God and the crucified Savior lost in the cross-breeding. The distinctive element in the human is lost. The distinctive element in Jesus is lost. An antichrist?”

I realize this was a lengthy passage, and will be actually surprised if anyone makes it to the end. But I believe them to be important words for our culture today. Our “Christian” culture is in danger of being lost in the culture, assimilated into the driven, ambitious culture of America. We struggle to remain “countercultural,” as we should.

Father, I pray that you will strengthen us in our resolve to be countercultural and not be assimilated by the modern culture of our times. Help us to remain bound to the cross. Help us to continue to worship the crucified savior (who did not fail, in fact, but rose from the dead), and to practice this “resurrection life.”
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.