Be Unto Your Name

Today is Monday, the 31st of October, 2022, in the 31st week of Ordinary Time. Advent will be upon us before we know it.

May the peace of the resurrected Christ dwell within you today!

Day 23,608

Today is the last day of my favorite month of the year. It is also Halloween, a favorite day for many folks. I’m a fan, always have been. We will be visiting a friend, this evening, to partake of her wonderfully delicious homemade chili, an annual Halloween tradition.

More importantly, perhaps, though, is that today is Reformation Day. We celebrated Reformation Sunday at a Lutheran church, yesterday, which, I believe, was fitting. It was a lovely worship service and included a number of young people going through their Confirmation. I really liked the way they did that.


How can a young man keep his way pure? 
By guarding it according to your word.
(Psalms 119:9 ESV)

Lord our God, dear Father in heaven, we thank you. How often you rescue us from all fear and distress! How often you hear and answer us! Grant that our hearts may always be eager and joyful because you answer us. There is nothing else for us in this world; you are our one hope, our only hope. You alone can help our times, help the nations, help each person. Nothing else matters to us. Lord our God, for the rest of our life on earth you alone are our help, our comfort, and our strength. Amen.

(Daily Prayer from

Let those who fear the LORD say, 
"His steadfast love endures forever." 
Out of my distress I called on the LORD; 
the LORD answered me and set me free. 
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. 
What can man do to me? 
(Psalms 118:4-6 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. for the Word of God, which helps me guard my path
  2. that the Lord our God is our only hope in this world; He is our only help, comfort, and strength
  3. that God’s Word is worth more to me than a thousand gold or silver pieces (Psalm 119:72)
  4. that the Lord our God is worthy to receive all glory and honor and power (Revelation 4:11)
  5. for the Holy Spirit, who meets the every need of the believer

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)

Say to those who have an anxious heart, 
"Be strong; fear not! 
Behold, your God 
will come with vengeance, 
with the recompense of God. 
He will come and save you." 

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, 
and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 
then shall the lame man leap like a deer, 
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. 
For waters break forth in the wilderness, 
and streams in the desert; 
the burning sand shall become a pool, 
and the thirsty ground springs of water; 
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, 
the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 

And a highway shall be there, 
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; 
the unclean shall not pass over it. 
It shall belong to those who walk on the way; 
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. 
No lion shall be there, 
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; 
they shall not be found there, 
but the redeemed shall walk there. 
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return 
and come to Zion with singing; 
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; 
they shall obtain gladness and joy, 
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 
(Isaiah 35:4-10 ESV)

The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
(Psalms 119:72 ESV)

You make known to me the path of life; 
you will fill me with joy in your presence, 
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. 
(Psalms 16:11 NIV)

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
(Revelation 4:11 NIV)

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
(Genesis 1:26 NIV)

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
(Genesis 2:7 NIV)

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
(Luke 11:11-13 NIV)

Karen Valentin, in today’s Daily Guideposts 2022 reading, points out something worth considering. God is the creator, through Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity. And that verse in Revelation tells us that He created all things, and by His will they were created and have their being.

We are part of that Creation. In fact, the fact that it says “have their being,” causes me to believe that this verse is primarily talking about us. I mean, do trees and rocks “have being?” I’m not wise enough to answer that question. I mean, Emily Deschanel once made an anti-meat commercial claiming that cows are “beings just like us.” But I’m not here to judge Emily Deschanel.

We are His creation, and He is worthy to receive all glory and honor and power. In Revelation 5, we find a similar scene.

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, 
"Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." 
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, 
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, 
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" 

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, 
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb 
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"

 And the four living creatures said, 
and the elders fell down and worshiped. 
(Revelation 5:8-14 ESV)

That scene stirs my soul. It stirred Handel, too, apparently, as he ended his Messiah with it.

But let’s get back to Ms. Valentin’s reading. She is an artist. God has given her artistic talent. I am a musician. God has richly blessed me with musical talent. I’m far from the best trombone/keyboard/guitar player or singer. But I have talent.

Who gets the glory and honor and blessing for that talent? If we are not careful, we allow ourselves to receive the praise for it. Honestly, for many years, I have struggled with how to respond when someone tells me that I did a good job at something, at leading worship or playing and singing a song. I don’t want the glory; I want God to get it. One of the greatest compliments anyone could ever give me is that my playing/singing led them to worship God. Because He is the one who should be getting the glory, not me.

Did you know that it took Handel only 24 days to write the entire Messiah oratorio??

Depending on the tempo (because all conductors do not conduct the same), The Messiah lasts anywhere from two and a half to three hours!

24 days. Just over three weeks. That, my friends is some real inspiration. (He only composed the music, by the way . . . the text was compiled from the King James Version and the Coverdale Psalter by Charles Jennens).

Karen Valentin writes, at the end of today’s reading, “God has given me my artistic gifts, and yet I’m the one who is praised for that talent. Not only do I take sole ownership of that talent, a gift from God, but I also want to claim its sweet rewards without giving glory and honor to Him.” Brutal honesty, there. But also confession; confession of a human desire that none of us is able to completely escape.

May we all recognize this and turn to give our praise and honor and glory and blessing to the Lamb!

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto You, O Lord! You alone are worthy; You alone deserve the praise, for everything that You have created and for all of the artistic ability that You have given us, a part of Your creation! In You we have our being; in You we live; without You we would not be anything, nor would we be able to do anything.

All glory belongs to You.

Forgive me, Father, when I receive glory and praise for something that I did as a result of Your gifts of talent to me. Help me to always point to You, just as You and the Holy Spirit always point to Jesus Christ, the Son, and just as the Son and the Holy Spirit always point to You, the Father! What a glorious, incomprehensible relationship exists within the Holy Trinity!

Father, we are preparing for a Night of Worship to happen soon. I pray for each of us that will be involved in this, and that it truly will be a Night of Worship, and not a celebration of our talents. May we only point to You and not draw attention to ourselves, because You alone are worthy of the blessing and honor, glory and power.

Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, to all who call upon the Name of Jesus Christ, and who supplies our every need as believers.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Utterly Meaningless

Today is Sunday, the thirty-first of October, 2021. It is Halloween.

Day 23,243 (the number of days since I was born)

Seven days until Daylight Saving Time ends (fall back . . . you can’t say you weren’t warned!)

There are a number of reasons that today is significant. As already mentioned, it is Halloween. I really enjoy this “holiday” (I don’t really consider it a holiday, because we don’t get the day off from work, if it falls on a work day.), and the celebrations have been going on for a few days, already. I saw some very cool costumes at the library yesterday, as we had a family event yesterday afternoon. My favorite was the son of one of the other library aides (who, next week, will no longer be an aide, but a part time assistant librarian!) who came dressed as a dalek from Dr. Who.

That’s not his costume, of course . . . that’s just an image to show you what a dalek looks like.

Another reason this day is significant is that, 504 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation. Therefore, today is deemed “Reformation Day.”

But, for us, today is the most special because, twelve years ago, today, our oldest daughter, R, got married to J. So we wish them a “Happy Hallowversary” every year on this day!

I think I already mentioned that our church group is not gathering this morning. At this point, I don’t have any plans to attend elsewhere. We will also not be home to hand out candy, this evening, which is probably a good thing, because it means we did not buy any candy, and the last thing we need is overflow Halloween candy laying around our house. Those bite-sized candy bars find a way of always falling in my mouth, you know. Yesterday, at the library, I “accidentally” ate three giant Lemonheads.

We will be going to a friend’s house for “Halloween chili” tonight. That’s one of our favorite events of the year. I think S might even be planning to dress up as a kitten. I might wear my “wizard costume,” which consists of a black trench coat, a felt hat, and a walking stick. Impressive, eh?

There are no other plans for today. And my next shift at the library is Tuesday evening. Did I mention that I got my Covid booster last Thursday? I can’t remember if I did. But I was really tired all day yesterday, and felt a little icky Friday night. But at one point Friday night, I finally got up and took some Advil, so I felt pretty normal yesterday, but just really tired. My left arm is still marginally sore, but not too bad.

The Braves won again, last night, to take a 3-1 lead over the Astros, in the World Series. I’m hoping they can put it away tonight. I suppose I should be more interested in it, if I’m truly a fan of baseball. But I’m not, and it is what it is, right?

I may have forgotten this, yesterday, but I’m still reading The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. I’m close to finishing and should finish it this afternoon.

On to what’s truly important.


Finding Light, by S. Michaels (LightWriters)

October ending
seasons come and go,
the River winds on
Selah (Psalm 19:8)
©2021 S. Michaels
Strong Tower(Haiku/5-5-5 & Psalms/Proverbs Faith Notes)

I will give thanks to you,
among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
(Psalms 108:3 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that, though seasons come and go, Your love remains steadfast and sure
2. for the love of family and friends
3. that You are my God and will be my guide, "even to the end" (Psalm 48:14)
4. that the earth is filled with Your love; remind me to look for it every day
5. that I'm not stuck living in the past, but am freely moving forward with You; all praise to You, through the Son and by the Spirit

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



For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
(Psalms 48:14 NIV)

I pause, during this quiet moment, to reflect on my life. It is filled with love, both Yours, and that of family and friends. When I forget about that love, and focus on self and negativity, please remind me of the love.


You are my portion, LORD;
I have promised to obey your words.
I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
The earth is filled with your love, LORD;
teach me your decrees.
(Psalms 119:57-64 NIV)


“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
(Ecclesiastes 1:2-5 NIV)

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV)


As I read these passages over again, I look for words or phrases that stir my heart. I either silently, or possibly out loud, repeat them, meditating, forming prayers in my spirit.

I do love Psalm 119, as long as I am not expected to read the entire chapter (176 verses!) in one sitting. Almost every verse in the psalm mentions, in some form or fashion, the Word of God. It is a symphony of praise, and epic poem, to God’s Word. If you have a version in which the chapter is broken up into groups of eight verses, you see a Hebrew letter designated at the beginning of each group.

If you could read Hebrew (I can’t), you would notice that each verse of that group of eight verses begins with that Hebrew letter that is at the top of the section or stanza. Oddly, we do not know who wrote this psalm.

In the section I’m reading today, although the NIV does not feature this, the Hebrew letter is Heth. The KJV shows it as CHETH, which may be more accurate, because each of the verses begins with a word that starts with ch.

I love the thought of God as my “portion” (v. 57). To me, this indicates that God is enough. He is all I need.

I don’t know that I could ever honestly say that I have actually sought the face of the Lord “with all my heart” (v. 58). It is most definitely something to which I aspire, though.

Verses 63 and 64 also speak to me. I consider anyone who fears the Lord and follows His precepts to be my friend. That does not mean that everyone who claims to be “Christian” will be my friend. There are many who use that label who obviously do not either fear God or follow His precepts. And the statement that the earth is filled with God’s love is something that we all need to be reminded of, frequently. I make mention of this in the prayer following today’s invitation.

I always love getting into Ecclesiastes. It’s a fun book to read, even if it is a bit confusing, sometimes. While its authorship is commonly attributed to Solomon, I am not 100% convinced that this is the case. To me, it is not clear who wrote it, and I have no guesses at all as to who else it might have been, other than Solomon.

And you know what? I really don’t care who wrote it. “The Teacher” wrote it. Some (the respectable Matthew Henry included) would argue that the fact that it says “Son of David,” and “king in Jerusalem” prove that it is Solomon, as he fits both of those descriptions. However, the words “king in Jerusalem,” may describe David, not “the Teacher.”

If read in the wrong spirit, one might immediately find Ecclesiastes to be an exercise in futility, and somewhat depressing. I mean, the thought that “everything is meaningless” can be somewhat discouraging, right?

Some translations, such as KJV and ESV, use the word “vanity,” rather than “meaningless.” The Message uses the word “smoke.” I rather like that. The Hebrew word literally means “emptiness” or “vanity,” so those translations are pretty much correct. But another word could be “unsatisfactory.” I like that, too. It could even be said to mean “transitory.”

Why does the Preacher/Teacher say this? He gives examples. We go to work every day. What gain do we get from this? In our modern day, we get paid with the currency of the land. What do we do with that? We pay bills, we buy things. But, ultimately, it is nothing. In fact, in these days, it’s all pretty much pretend money, anyway. I hardly ever see cash, and the only think I use it for, any more, is to tip my Sonic carhop when I’m at one of the few Sonics that won’t turn on mobile tipping.

We have reached an era that, for many of us, cash is “meaningless” or “vanity.” That scares a lot of people who take Revelation way more literally than they should.

The Teacher looks at generations that come and go, while the earth just keeps on turning. I am alive today. I have lived twenty-three thousand, two hundred and forty-three days (it looks a lot longer when I type it). That’s a lot of days. Or is it?

If you take the creation story literally (which I both do and do not . . . don’t hurt yourself trying to figure that out), the earth has been in existence for somewhere between six and eight thousand years. If you believe some scientists, it has been in existence for billions of years.

I’m just going to go with the six thousand number. If that is correct, and it would be the minimum time that the earth and universe have been in existence, that is more than two million days.

That kind of makes my 23,243 pretty petty, doesn’t it?

So I’m alive today. I might live another twenty or thirty years. Or less or more. Only God knows. But then I will be gone. No one knew me before 1958. And very few will remember me after I’m gone. A handful, likely. And when they’re gone, no one will remember me.

Meaningless. Vanity. Everything is utterly meaningless.

The sun comes up; the sun goes down, and then it runs back around so it can come up again. It’s a meaningless cycle.

“Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping . . . into the future.”

And then, the Teacher nails the coffin shut by telling us that there is, quite literally, “nothing new under the sun.”

Hah! He never got to see iPhones, right?

See?? Are you depressed yet??

I’m not, actually. Because I kind of understand where he is coming from and where he is going. But you have to read it all in context, and, frankly, it’s rather unhealthy, mentally, to read only the few verses that are highlighted today, and just stop. That really does leave us in a dark, dark place.

If I look only at these things, then, yes, it can be very depressing. But I do not only look at these things. I can honestly, and happily, in fact, look at all the devices of this world, both physical and not, and proclaim, along with this Teacher, that they are “utterly meaningless,” nothing but “smoke” and mirrors.

In the grand scheme of things, in the broad picture of eternity, everything in this room, where I am sitting, that I can see with my eyes . . . all meaningless. “It’s all gonna burn!” Perhaps these words that I am typing are even meaningless.

Unless, one day, someone happens to stumble across this blog, and it miraculously leads them into a faith relationship with Jesus Christ. At that point, it will mean everything in the world to one person.

And that’s kind of why I’m doing it. One of the reasons that I keep it up. That, and my mother enjoys reading it.

So, while we don’t come up with any firm purpose from today’s reading, we must know that knowing God and His wisdom is what provides the only real meaning in life. What is the meaning of life? As much as I like to say it, it is not, in fact, “42.” It is to know God, and to fear Him. To spread His love to everyone . . . to “pass it on.” It is to follow Jesus Christ into territories that make us uncomfortable, and to set aside many of these things that truly are meaningless and vanity, that we might walk in His Kingdom and follow in His steps.

Father, I praise You, even for the meaninglessness of the material world around me. I do thank You for many of these material things; things which can, in fact, be used to provide meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence. But let us not get too attached to these things, which will not survive us for very long. Some of these things may outlast me, physically, but as we live with You for eternity, they will, in fact perish. May we use them wisely and “hold on loosely” to them, always being aware that someone else may need them more than we. Keep me aware of any needs that I might be able to provide with the resources You have provided us. And let us not think to heavily on the thoughts that all is vanity or utterly meaningless, as we might truly find ourselves in a dark place, mentally and emotionally. There is really no reason for us to go there, in light of the fact that our world, our universe, is filled with Your love!

May we, Your people, be filled with resurrection hope and joy. May we all be equipped to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whenever opportunities arise.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. 
May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, 
on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. 
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; 
for Yours are the kingdom and the power 
and the glory forever and ever. 
"God of heaven and earth,
what is the purpose of it all?
The endless cycle of life brings with it questions that don't find answers in the available light under the sun.
With You,
I get the larger view beyond this world.
I trust You,
God in heaven,
for everything I need for life under the sun -
including intellectually satisfying answers to my biggest questions.


Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:10 NIV)

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
(John 17:17 NIV)

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
(John 16:13 NIV)

Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
(Matthew 27:26 ESV)

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
(Luke 6:37 ESV)

When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”
(Luke 13:12 ESV)

There’s a common word in these three verse, at least in the Greek text. The word that is translated “released,” “forgive/forgiven,” and “freed,” is all one Greek word, “apoluo.” Literally, it means, “to free fully, relieve, release, dismiss.”

So from this fact, we can get the following truth.

“If you don’t forgive, you won’t be released. You’ll stay bound and imprisoned.” But the same word speaks of healing. So forgiveness is linked to healing and the lack of forgiveness to the lack of healing. Those who cannot forgive cripple themselves. And the same word speaks of moving on and being sent forth for the purposes of God. If you don’t forgive, you won’t be able to move on or to let go of the old. Nor will you be able to be sent forth and fulfill God’s calling for your life.”

(From The Book of Mysteries, by Jonathan Cahn)

I read those words, and I think of the many people that are close to my age who do nothing on social media other than moan and complain about how things used to be. They are constantly mocking younger generations, thinking themselves to be superior because they know how to write in cursive and can drive a stick shift.

These folks need to wake up! They are stuck in the past, unable to move on, to let go of things that simply don’t matter any more! And they appear so very hateful and angry all the time, with no hint of forgiveness or release. I pity them; my heart hurts for them. I am so very grateful to God that He has allowed me to not get stuck in that mode. I frequently skip over a lot of those “Who remembers _______?” posts that I see on Facebook. Yeah. I remember. But I don’t live there any more. I live in 2021, where nobody needs to know how write in cursive any more. Where the only reason to drive a stick shift is if you have a fancy sports car.

And just to prove I’m not stuck in the past, here is some really nice music that I discovered, this morning. I’m not one of the “old guys” who are constantly saying that all of today’s music is “crap.” Thanks to Derri Daugherty of The Choir, for the recommendation.

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O, Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
grant us Your peace.
(Agnus Dei)

Grace and peace, friends.

“Though He Slay Me . . .”

Today is Friday, October 31, 2020. Peace be with you!

Day 22,878

Twelve days until C’s birthday. What does she want for her birthday? No one seems to know.

Today is Halloween. Today is Reformation Day (the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the church at Wittenberg). Today is the occurrence of a “blue moon” (two full moons in the same month). Tonight we will set our clocks back an hour (technically, the change is at 2:00 AM on Sunday . . . whose crazy idea was that??) to return to Standard Time. All of this in the midst of a seemingly never-ending pandemic.

Then, to top it all off, we have learned that the iconic James Bond, the best James Bond, Sir Thomas Sean Connery, has died.

And all of this before it’s even 9:00 AM!

The only thing we have to do today is go to our WW Workshop at 10:30. This, thanks to C, who decided to go do the grocery shopping yesterday, during her lunch hour. We all had prescriptions ready, and mine was at the Kroger Pharmacy, so she just decided to go ahead and knock out the groceries.

So, with great fear and trepidation (mildly exaggerated), I plan to spend some time in here, this afternoon and see if I can get ProTools working on this PC. Last Saturday (and Sunday), I got all the software I need downloaded. At least I think I did. There are still a couple of things on the laptop that I need to see if I can get on this PC, but they aren’t essential. I have yet to crank up ProTools, here, though, and get it configured. So I will try that, this afternoon. I’m not yet sure what I will try to record.

I need a planning session to make a plan as to what I want to record in the future, because right now, it’s all just a jumble in my brain.

We will not be having our church gathering tomorrow, as too many people are out of pocket. Based on a conversation with Brandon, yesterday, it appears that it might be must C, him, and me. There wouldn’t necessarily be anything bad about that, but we all tend to agree that we don’t want to read ahead with the majority of our folks not there. And the way our group is structured, we certainly have that flexibility.

The increase in Coronavirus numbers at the end of this week is terrifying, to say the least. Yesterday, we had 101,461 new cases! Roughly ten thousand more than Thursday, which was roughly ten thousand more than Wednesday! I have no idea what is going on, but I do know that the general population, based on what I don’t see, doesn’t even notice, and doesn’t care any more. Texas actually didn’t “win,” yesterday, as Illinois had 7164 new cases, higher than our 6819. To put all this in perspective, we were averaging around half of yesterday’s total when all of the stay at home orders were in place.

I will remind everyone, once again, at least my readers in the U.S., to remember to move your clocks back an hour, either tonight before bedtime, or, if you prefer, in the morning when you wake up. Truly, an extra hour of sleep doesn’t mean much to me, any more, as I rarely can sleep past 6:30 in the morning, anyway.


Lord my God, I believe in you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
Insofar as I can, insofar as you have given me the power, 
I have sought you. 
I became weary and I labored. 
O Lord my God, my sole hope, help me to believe and 
never to cease seeking you. 
Grant that I may always and ardently seek out your countenance.
 Give me the strength to seek you, 
for you help me to find you and you have more and more 
given me the hope of finding you. 
Here I am before you with my firmness and my infirmity. 
Preserve the first and heal the second. 
Here I am before you with my strength and my ignorance. 
Where you have opened the door to me, 
welcome me at the entrance; 
where you have closed the door to me, 
open to my cry; 
enable me to remember you, 
to understand you, 
and to love you. 
(Prayer to Seek God Continually, St. Augustine of Hippo)

Scriptures and Prayers from The Divine Hours

Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
(Psalms 103:20-22 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. For the weekend (finally here), to rest and refresh for the next work week
  2. For Martin Luther and his 95 Theses
  3. That Your plans stand firm forever, and Your intentions can never be shaken (Psalm 33:11)
  4. That God is mightier than any storm (or pandemic) that we are going through
  5. That, “though He slay me, I will hope in Him”

Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
(Psalms 5:1-3 ESV)

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
(Isaiah 26:3 ESV)

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
(Isaiah 30:15 ESV)

But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
(Psalms 33:11 NLT)

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar,
“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”
And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”
Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
(Revelation 7:9-17 NLT)

A Psalm of David.
O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
(Psalms 15:1-5 ESV)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
(Isaiah 9:2 ESV)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. 
May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, 
on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. 
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; 
for Yours are the kingdom and the power 
and the glory forever and ever. 
"Merciful God,
who sent your messengers the prophets
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Grant us grace to heed
their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ
our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
now and for ever.
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)

While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
(Job 1:18-22 ESV)

“On any give day, we can go from feasting to mourning, from celebrating life to processing death, or some other life challenge. Our lives can swiftly be reduced to ‘sticks and bricks’ – financially, relationally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. But God is mightier than any storm. Surviving life’s trials requires faith that’s focused on Him – faith that enables us to say with Job and others, ‘May the name of the Lord be praised’ (v. 21).”
(Arthur Jackson, Our Daily Bread)

This is a great word for these times. There are many lives that have been disrupted and shattered by this pandemic. And many may be wondering why? What is God up to? What is He trying to show us?

I don’t have answers to any of those questions. I’m not that wise. But I can confidently proclaim, along with Mr. Jackson, that “God is mightier than any storm.”

So, as we pray through these days, remember this. We do not have to be defeated. These times are hard, and they are tougher than we are. But they are not tougher than our God. He will prevail. And, as Job said later, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15).

Father, I praise You that You are mightier than any storm or pandemic that we are facing. We need not be defeated, because You win! I praise You that I am able to say, along with Job, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” I love you, Lord!

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

The Holiness of Earth

“One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” (Frederick Buechner)

Today is Thursday, October 31, 2019. Peace be with you.

Today is Halloween/All Hallow’s Eve. Today is also Reformation Day, commemorating the nailing of the 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg, by Martin Luther.

Day 22,512

12 days until C’s birthday!!

Today is also R & J’s tenth anniversary!

And Tessie’s (dog) ninth birthday!

Today is a very special day around here!

Well, history was, indeed made, last night. The kind of history that can never be exceeded. It can be tied, but never beaten. In a bizarre World Series, the home team lost every game. The Washington Nationals also won their first ever World Series Appearance. The last time that happened was in 2002 when the Angels won. I don’t know what to call them anymore. LA? Anaheim? California? Fallen? Hahaha! Anyway, the Nationals came back from an early Astros lead to take game 7 6-2. I saw the last out, because S woke us up from a very nice sleep to hurry and come see it.

So baseball is over. There are 103 days until Spring Training begins. 😀

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
Psalm 99:1

Today I am grateful:
1. That the Lord reigns.
2. For baseball, and for a very entertaining World Series. And I certainly think it’s okay to be grateful for baseball.
3. For the ways that God has blessed this family over the decades.
4. That the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, who is and was and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8)!
5. That we, in all of our flesh and earthiness, are made holy by God.

Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high. 
The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. 

Psalm 7:7-8
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 
Psalm 106:47
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
Psalm 33:8
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. 
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. 
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong.

Psalm 125:1-3
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8

(From Faith That Matters)

All Is Holy, by Frederick Buechner

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
John 1:14

This is another one I will quote in its entirety, because I can’t do it just with paraphrase.

“John 1:14 is what incarnation means. It is untheological. It is unsophisticated. It is undignified. But according to Christianity, it is the way things are.

“All religions and philosophies that deny the reality or the significance of the material, the fleshly, the earthbound, are themselves denied. Moses at the burning bush was told to take off his shoes because the ground on which he stood was holy ground (Exodus 3:5), and incarnation means that all ground is holy ground because God not only made it but walked on it, and and slept and worked and died on it. If we are saved anywhere, we are saved here. And what is saved is not some diaphanous distillation of our bodies and our earth, but our bodies and our earth themselves. Jerusalem becomes the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven like a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2). Our bodies are sown perishable and raised imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:42).

“One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.”

Father, you make all things holy. You make all things beautiful in your time. Make us holy; make us beautiful. Today.
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.