Blessed in Time

Today is Monday, the twenty-first of March, 2022, in the third week of Lent.
May the peace of Christ be upon you today.

Day 23,384

I missed that yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, or the first day of Spring, in which both daylight and dark were exactly equal. From this point until the Summer Solstice, which will be Tuesday, June twenty-first, the days will grow longer.

Yesterday was a pretty lazy day around here. C and Mama rested a bit, since they worked really hard on Saturday.

Today, I have a doctor appointment at 10:00, for my yearly checkup. I haven’t been since last February, because of various life circumstances, the most major being that I retired right at the end of July. I was supposed to go see them in August, but I wasn’t sure what my health insurance was going to look like, or what my weeks would look like, as I was still looking for a part-time job to supplement my SS. So here I am, in March, finally going back.

I originally had an appointment scheduled for two weeks ago, March seventh, but canceled postponed that one because a plumber was supposed to come to the house that same morning. And I got a call last week to tell me that the PA that I had scheduled with would be out today, so I’m now scheduled to see a NP (Nurse Practitioner). The downside of this appointment is that I have gained at least forty pounds since last November. Oh, well. “It is what it is,” as “they” say. Whoever “they” is.

I do plan to get back on track, though, and perhaps “facing the music” in today’s checkup will be the impetus for that.

Tomorrow, we take S to a doctor for evaluation as to her disability status for the SSA. And then, on Wednesday, it’s back to Mineral Wells to pick up Mama’s cable box and Internet modem so we can send them back to Suddenlink. C and her successfully got that service canceled yesterday. One more thing marked off the list.


"O Lord,
you have mercy on all.
Take away my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Take away my heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ’s sake.
(Prayer for A Renewed Heart, St. Ambrose)

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
(Romans 15:7 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for my health; I have some issues, but for the most part, I am quite healthy
2. for God's provision in the life of my family, and our willingness to share His generosity with others
3. for my "lucky" (or "blessed") life
4. for today, this moment, which is truly all I have
5. for the community of saints, as we share in each other's blessings and burdens, and as we care for one another

Today’s prayer word is “time.” This is a good one. Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” It seems to be verifiable that she said this, but even if it wasn’t her, it’s still a good thought.

Time is relative. We are familiar with the phrase, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” A half hour with a good friend will go much faster, in your mind, than, say, a half hour with your hand on a hot stove. Ultimately, thirty minutes is thirty minutes, but perception is everything. The days and years really are not going by faster than they did when I was ten years old, but they seem to be.

Chicago famously said, “Does anybody really know what time it is?” Well, yes. Maybe. Unless it’s Daylight Saving Time, or it’s not, or we’re in a different time zone than we are used to. Greenwich Mean Time has been established as the standard, so someone knows what time it really is. It’s 1:25 PM. Unless you use military time, then it’s 1325. But for me, it’s 8:25 AM, because I’m six hours behind the standard.

In a conversation with John Ortberg about spiritual health, Dallas Willard told him that he needed to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” That is one of my favorite Willardisms. If you hurry, it means your concentration is on the time, you are watching the clock. Ironically, there are two reasons for watching the clock. One is if you are in a hurry, and you are checking constantly to see how much time you have left before you need to be somewhere or do something or finish something. The other is if you are waiting for someone or something, and they are running late. In the first case, time seems to go faster; in the second, it seems to crawl.

But, in reality, it is all going at the same, constant speed, one second at a time. Which is, by the way, how we got so old. One second at a time.

Regret looks back and worries about past decisions. But “Yesterday is gone.” Worry and anxiety fret over things that haven’t happened yet. But “Tomorrow has not yet come,” and those things may or may not even happen.

“We have only today.” We have only this moment. The only “time” that truly exists is this moment. Everything else is speculative.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
(Romans 15:7 NIV)

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2 NIV)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)

These verses speak volumes to us. The world would look vastly different if we could manage to obey them.

Eugene Peterson’s reading today, in On Living Well, is short. It is called “The Good Life.” It features a word that I often try to avoid using, but based on the footnote, can more easily accept.

“Christians launch daily into lucky lives – lives of amazing grace, surprised by joy, where they count blessings. They are not easy lives. They are not cozy lives. Christians go to work exploring and experiencing all the details of new life that Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection pour into them through the Holy Spirit. They are not explained lives, making neat or perfect sense, but they are good lives, robust with a goodness the Christians did not earn. Lucky.”

You might have guessed the word. “Lucky.” You see, I do not believe in “luck,” being defined as random chance. However, the footnote says that the context of Peterson’s word, “lucky,” comes from the Greek word, makarios, which has more of a meaning of “blessed” or “happy.” In fact, “makarios” is the very word used at the beginning of each of the Beatitudes. “Blessed.”

And indeed, my life is blessed, or, as Peterson would call it, “lucky.” it is not easy, it is not always cozy. It is seldom neat, nor does it always make sense. But it is blessed.

Father, I thank You for today, for this moment. Help me to make the most of each moment, realizing that it is really all I have, all that I can call “now.” Help me to, as Michael Card, once said, “know You in the now.” Ease my mind from worry or anxiety about the future, as it has not yet happened, and worry steals moments from today. Help me to not have regrets over the past, as it is gone, already happened, and cannot be changed, so that also steals moments from today. Help me to, rather, celebrate this day.

Thank You for my brothers and sisters in Christ, all over the world. I pray for more sense of unity withing the Church, and that we would be more accepting of one another, as we experience differences in opinions of matters that may actually not be that important. Help us to realize that the one thing that truly matters is our walk with Christ and our love for You and our love for one another. Also help us to bear one another’s burdens, as well as sharing in one another’s victories.

Thank You for my blessed life, my “lucky” life. Truly I count myself blessed beyond my wildest imaginations. Thank You, Lord.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6 NIV)

Grace and peace, friends.

“If I Be Lifted Up”

Today is Monday, the twenty-second of March, in the fifth week of Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,020

Thirteen days until Resurrection Sunday, which means this coming Sunday, the twenty-eighth, is Palm Sunday. It also means a week from today is R’s birthday!

We had a pretty good day, yesterday. Nice and restful, for the most part. There was a little bit of early drama, but I won’t elaborate on that here.

I promised to report on the Sous Vide cooking. It cooked the chicken very nicely, cooked all the way through in an hour. However, it wasn’t seasoned enough, or we didn’t figure out how to get the seasoning to permeate the chicken. We need to work on that. I made some Minute Rice with chicken broth to go along with the chicken, so that helped, but otherwise, as far as taste goes, it was just “meh.” However, like I said, it was cooked well. We will experiment more with it. I’m still interested to see how it does with a nice steak.

We plan to have Applebee’s for dinner tonight.

Also, happy Spring to all! I totally forgot to mention that Saturday was the first official day of Spring, the Vernal Equinox. At least I don’t remember remembering to mention that.

On with the good stuff.


"In the waiting,
wash over me.
From moments that overwhelm - 
would You set me free.
Still this anxious heart,
come breathe Your Word.
Let Your peace break down these walls,
and speak to my heart."
(Salt of the Sound)

Today I am grateful:

  • for a new week ahead, with opportunities to serve; may I be faithful in prayer and faithful in service
  • for the ministry of Salt of the Sound
  • for treasures in heaven
  • that the earth is Yours, and everything in it
  • that Jesus, being lifted up, drew all people to Himself

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 am taking a moment to reflect on the great faithfulness of the Lord. His mercies are new every morning!


Of David. A psalm.

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.
(Psalms 24:1-6 NIV)


Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
(John 12:20-33 NIV)


As I rest in His presence, this morning, I read these passages again. Immediately, I am struck by the truth of Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” Look around you. Everything that you see, as well as everything that is invisible to you, belongs to the Lord! All of it. All of that “stuff” that you believe belongs to you, truly doesn’t. All of the lands around that someone believes belong to some government entity (a city, a state, a country), truly doesn’t.

It all belongs to the Lord, and we fool ourselves if we think otherwise.

And once, again, the question is asked, who may ascend? Only the one with a pure heart and clean hands, one who has not lifted up an idol and worshiped it.

And then, in the passage from John, Jesus speaks of being “lifted up from the earth.” When He was lifted up, He would draw all people to Himself. There is the One who is worthy of my worship! There is the One who gives me a pure heart and clean hands, because He erased all of the impurities! There is the One who gives me access to the “mountain of the LORD!”

Father, I praise You for these truths! I acknowledge Your rightful ownership of everything in this universe, for You created it all. Even those things which we believe we “created” were put together from things created by You. Forgive us our arrogance, O Lord. Nothing truly belongs to us, and we are merely stewards of You property. Thank You for Jesus being lifted up and drawing us to Himself. Help me to truly worship Him, properly, today, as I walk through this day.

Why, God,
would you give up your glory to take on our broken human nature?
Why, Jesus,
would you come to the scene of our crimes with the purpose of bearing our punishment?
Why would you bitterly suffer and die for us,
unless this is glory.
Where comprehension fails,
help me to simply receive this marvelous mystery in faith.
(Belgic Confession 20)


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)

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
(Romans 8:26 NIV)

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:25-30 NIV)

Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.
(Proverbs 10:2 NLT)

The relatives of the poor despise them; how much more will their friends avoid them! Though the poor plead with them, their friends are gone.
(Proverbs 19:7 NLT)

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
(Matthew 6:19-21 NLT)

Father, I praise You that, more and more, You are leading me to store up treasures in heaven, not on the earth. Yes, we are physically blessed, here on earth. But these blessings, we truly endeavor, are passed on whenever we find need. Help us to be more aware of needs around us, that we may give more away. We will not revel in treasures or stuff of earth. Rather, we will celebrate our true treasure, our eternal inheritance, that which can never rust or nor be corrupted, and that which moths cannot eat or thieves cannot steal. All glory to You, Father!

Lord, I pray, this morning, for our place as caretakers of Your creation, everything that You own, that we do not own. We are stewards, so may our stewardship be wise. Help us to care more about that which You have made and allowed us to enjoy. I pray for the people in this world whose job is to work in and around these natural resources. Give them wisdom and strength for their work.

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!

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us

Grace and peace, friends.