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Today is Tuesday, the twenty-third of March, 2021, in the fifth week of Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,021

Twelve days until Resurrection Sunday!

Last night, we had our weekly Applebee’s for dinner, as expected, since we did not have it Sunday for lunch. And then we replaced our old Amazon Fire TV box with a new Fire TV “stick.” The difference is, the stick plugs into an HDMI port on the TV, and is less than half the price of the box. One downside of the stick is that it has no audio outlet, so the sound comes through the TV instead of the stereo. However, I also got an “optical” audio cable (that just sounds so strange to me . . . “optical” and “audio” are not words that go together in the same sentence) to connect the TV to the stereo, so the TV sounds comes through our stereo. Problem solved.

And, the SyFy app works, which we were not able to get it to work on the old box. The stick has the newest release of Fire TV on it, while I don’t even remember how old our box is. So we were able to watch the first episode of “Resident Alien” last night, featuring Alan Tudyk from Firefly (as the alien), and Corey Reynolds from The Closer, as the sheriff. We enjoyed it quite a bit and look forward to more. It may be our imagination, but we both thought the picture looked better, as well. I think the stick is 4K while the box was probably only 1080p, at best.

Tonight will be our night for our homemade chili, which we usually have on Monday nights. I’m not sure if it works on Tuesday. I guess we will find out.


Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
(Christ Has No Body, Teresa of Avila, 1515-1582)

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is.
(Psalms 66:1-2 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • that I am alive and awake
  • for prayers that have been answered and the wonder of this truth, that You hear our prayers at all
  • for resurrection hope and the hope of Home
  • for true freedom, which frees me to serve, rather than demand my own way
  • that You promise not to forget our service to others, which is equal to loving You

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



The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
(Psalms 145:17-18 NIV)

I’m taking a moment to quietly reflect on the nearness of the Lord, to rest in His holy presence.

Father, I pause, right now, to ask for clarity. My mind is a jumble of things, this morning, both holy and unholy. Please give me focus, for the next few moments, on the one thing that matters most.


Of David.

In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.
I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
(Psalms 25:1-3 NIV)

Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in you.
(Psalms 25:20-21 NIV)


The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'”
(Ezekiel 37:1-14 NIV)


As I read these passages again, reflecting on what moves me, I keep being drawn to that bit in Psalm 25 (in case you haven’t noticed, these Psalms have been repeating throughout Lent, each week) about not being put to shame if we put our trust and hope in the Lord. ” No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,” it says.

I believe this to be completely true. And if, for some reason, I am put to shame, it is because my hope was in something or someone else. Or perhaps, I was putting hope in nothing at all, which is even more tragic.

The passage in Ezekiel is a rather famous passage, with at least one old spiritual song being written about it. “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones . . .” I seem to remember an episode of The Munsters where Herman got stuck on that song.

But I digress.

The passage is pretty much strictly about Israel. But how can it apply to us today?

I believe it speaks of resurrection. And this is appropriate, as we are in the ending days of Lent, in preparation for what should be the biggest celebration in the Church, Resurrection Sunday.

The Lord proclaims, here, that He will open up the graves, and bring His people up from them. Then He will bring His people Home.

There is a lot of speculation on where this Home is. You know what? I don’t give a flip where it is! Because wherever it is, is where He will be! And if I am with Him, then I am Home!

This is hope, my friends. This is true hope. The hope of resurrection; of our graves being opened up and us being brought out of them and taken to our “Home Permanent.” (That was a shoutout to Terry Scott Taylor and Daniel Amos, by the way.)

Father, this hope has given me rest, this morning, rest in Your great love, grace, and mercy. And You have answered my earlier prayer and centered my thoughts, my busy, busy brain, on You and Your truth. Thank You for the hope of life; true life; life eternal in our Home, wherever it may be. As long as You are there, that is enough for me.

“My hair points to the sky; the place I want to be.” Terry Scott Taylor


God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life.
(1 John 5:11-12 NIV)

The greatest among you will be your servant.
(Matthew 23:11 NIV)

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Mark 10:45 NIV)

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
(John 12:26 NIV)

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
(Galatians 5:13 NIV)

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
(Hebrews 6:10 NIV)

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!”
(Isaiah 40:3-5 NLT)

Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
(Hebrews 12:13 NLT)

Father, help me to be a better servant, today, and, in doing so, love You. Thank You for the freedom that comes in Christ, not even remotely related to that mythical thing we call political freedom, which seems to be nothing more than thinking we can do anything we want with no consequences, and no care for our fellow man. True freedom in Christ frees me to serve; it frees me from any care of what other people think about me as I walk in Your kingdom. Give me this freedom today, Father! May I revel in it, as I revel in the lavish grace You have poured out on us! Make my walk in Your kingdom straight and unwavering.

Lord, this morning, I pray that all of Your children would have a love and commitment to the communities in which You have placed us. Please equip us to serve Jesus in whatever area You have given us, in as public a way as is appropriate for us to do. I especially lift a prayer, today, for sacrificial service of police officers, other law enforcement, and emergency workers. May You place Your protection upon them, 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!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Marvelous, Infinite, Matchless Grace

Today is Wednesday, the seventeenth of March, 2021, in the fourth week of Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,015

Eighteen days until Resurrection Sunday

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I will wear orange today, rather than green, because I am not Catholic.

S has successfully gotten her first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. According to C, Denton County has this down to an art at the Texas Motor Speedway. Everything is drive through, and you never get out of your car. The have about eight lanes, and hundreds of people on site. As expected, S says her arm hurts like crazy, this morning.

I see a TV show that I need to check out, on the SyFy (I have never liked that branding. . . looks like “siffee”) channel, called “Resident Alien.” It features Alan Tudyk, a favorite of ours because of “Firefly” and “Serenity,” the movie. So we will check it out. The premise, apparently, is that an alien crash-lands in a town and assumes a human identity to blend in. That’s all I know about it, so far.

We have thunderstorms in the area, this morning, and the temps will remain in the sixties all day, dropping down into the mid to lower forties, overnight. Nice Spring-ish weather. Spring officially begins Saturday, the twentieth of March.


Giver of all good things, we thank you:
for health and vigour,
for the air that gives the breath of life,
the sun that warms us,
and the good food that makes us strong;
for happy homes and for the friends we love,
for all that makes it good to live.

Make us thankful and eager to repay,
by cheerfulness and kindliness,
and by a readiness to help others.

Freely we have received;
 let us freely give,
in the name of him who gave his life for us,
Jesus Christ our Lord.  
Amen. (Giver of All Good Things, Thomas Ken (1637-1711)

Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple.
(Psalms 65:3-4 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • for the forgiveness of all our sins
  • that You chose to bring me near
  • for Your marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
  • for the admonition to not worry about what others do, say, or think
  • for the admonition to walk by faith, not by sight

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



The Lord is . . . patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 NIV)

Take a moment to consider that you have been chosen to draw near to God; enjoy His presence and ponder His forgiveness.


Of David.

Vindicate me, LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered. Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
(Psalms 26:1-3 NIV)

I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.

LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with those who are bloodthirsty, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes.
(Psalms 26:6-10 NIV)


As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV)


As I enjoy the quiet presence of my Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit, I read the passages again, slowly, reflecting on any word or phrase that draws my attention.

In Ephesians 2, one of my favorite combinations of words in the whole Bible occurs. Granted, there are a few words between them, but the meaning is still the same. In verse 4, we see, “But . . . God.” Those two words together change the world; they change everything; they constitute, as it is popular to say in today’s culture, a “game changer.”

Paul has described our “pre-Christ” condition. Then he says, “But . . . God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.” Aren’t those some of the most beautiful words you have ever seen?

And it all comes down to, as Paul says later on, to grace, that most marvelous of words. Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Father, I praise You that You, in Your infinite mercy and grace, chose to make us alive with Christ. I owe everything to You! Help me to walk in that truth today!

Saving Lord,
you save me from sin by Christ's death,
but you also raise me with him to a new life.
Because I am grafted into Christ,
strengthen me this day to walk in that new life,
producing good fruits of gratitude.
(Heidelberg Catechism 64)


The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 NIV)

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
(Galatians 6:4-5 NIV)

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
(Proverbs 14:30 NIV)

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.
(1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NLT)

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
(James 3:16 NLT)

Some good, and pointed, words, this morning, to remind us to mind our own business and not worry about other people and the things they do. The Internet and social media have made it all too easy to do the opposite in our culture. Everyone has their noses in everyone else’s business. The biggest recent example of this is, in my opinion, Oprah’s interview with Harry and Megan.

Maybe, just maybe, we in the U.S. should clean up our own backyard before we start trying to “fix” the U.K.?

Father, help me to live in this day, not by sight, the things I see, but by faith, the things I cannot see. Help me to not be concerned with what others do, say, or think, but only about the things that I do, say, and think. All glory to You, Lord!

Lord, I lift up all governments and leaders in this world, this morning. I pray for the unique needs of each people group, and ask for wisdom for all who are concerned with meeting those needs. I lift up the entire, ever-changing continent of Europe to You, today, that they would feel Your presence in their lives today. Let even those who do not acknowledge Your existence get a glimpse of Your grace, mercy, and glory today. I also pray for the homeless in every community, Father, that people who have resources would band together and work out ways to provide homes for the homeless, as well as mental assistance, where needed.

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!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.