What Is Your “Why?”

Today is Thursday, the eleventh of August, 2022, in the nineteenth week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ be in your soul today!

Day 23,527

Only EIGHT more days until S turns 29!!

The temperature only got up to 98, yesterday, and it rained again, which, once again, dropped the temperature significantly between 5 PM and 7 PM. C said it rained so hard that she had to use her windshield wipers on high. It didn’t rain that much at our house. The ten-day forecast shows only three days over 100, and more chance of rain next week.

Last night, I made Beefy American Goulash for dinner. It was definitely a hit. And there was enough left over for a couple more servings. I plan to take one for lunch at work today. Oh. that reminds me . . . I have to start soup in the crock pot for tonight’s dinner. Be right back.

I’m back. Thanks for waiting.

The Texas Rangers exploded (not literally) in the top of the tenth inning, last night, to beat the Houston Astros 8-4. The game was tied 3-3, going into the tenth. The Rangers are now 49-61 for the season, still in third place, 21 games out of first place, and nine games out of a Wild Card spot. They have another game against the Astros, this afternoon, at 1:10 CDT, in Houston. Then they are back at home for three games against the Mariners and four against the Athletics.

The Boston Red Sox score was also 8-4. Unfortunately, the Sox were on the short end of that stick. The Braves won the game. Boston is now 54-58 for the season, sinking further into last place, seventeen games out of first place, and five games out of a Wild Card spot. They begin a four-game weekend series with the Orioles, tonight, in Boston. Oops. That was an assumption. This must be one of those weird make-up games for a game that was cancelled because of the pre-season lockout. It’s only one game, followed by a three-game series with the Evil Ones. And look! The Orioles have moved into third place! Shout out to kristianw84.

The LA Dodgers continue to roll on. They are on top of all three categories that I track, here. 77-33 record, five full games ahead of the Mets (the Yankees remain in fourth place), +236 run differential, and a TEN GAME win streak going! Vin would be proud. The Nationals remain on the bottom in two categories, with a 37-76 record, and a run differential of -200. I was wondering what the worst run differential in history was. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders had a run differential of -723. Anyway, the only category that the Nats aren’t the worst in is losing streak, currently owned by the Athletics with a five-game losing streak. The Red Sox have a four game losing streak. They now have a -36 run differential, while the Rangers keep bouncing around zero, and now have a +1.

It’s Thursday, so I’ll be working an eight-hour shift at the library computer center today, from 11:15-8:15.


Lord our God, grant that we may be your watchmen, who can understand what you mean for our time. We thank you for all you have already done, for every change to the good among the nations. For the nations must bow to your will so that nothing happens unless accomplished by you. Judge us wherever necessary. Open our eyes to see where we are wrong and where something does not go according to your Spirit. Be with us and give us strength. Raise up more watchmen everywhere, in every place and in every home. Wherever something happens to move people's hearts, let the watchmen proclaim, "This comes from God. It does not matter how much we suffer. This comes from Jesus Christ, who suffered and died, but who rose again." Raise up such watchmen among young and old everywhere on earth, to the glory of your name. Let there be a people who go to meet you with shouts of joy and thanksgiving. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
(Isaiah 52:7-8 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the good news, the Gospel of peace, and that our God reigns
2. for the willingness to open my eyes and allow God to show me when I am wrong
3. that God alone is who I wait for to satisfy the longings of my soul
4. that I strive for integrity and uprightness in my life
5. that His grace is sufficient in all things

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV)

Though the fig tree should not blossom, 
nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail 
and the fields yield no food, 
the flock be cut off from the fold 
and there be no herd in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the LORD; 
I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 
GOD, the Lord, is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the deer's; 
he makes me tread on my high places. 
(Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV)

“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
(Matthew 5:33-37 NLT)

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
(Psalms 1:1-2 ESV)

Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
(1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 NLT)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
(1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
(Psalms 25:21 ESV)

Here, we see a link between Jesus’s words in Matthew concerning making oaths (let your yes be yes and your no be no), and this verse in Psalm 25 about integrity and uprightness.

The psalmist is asking for a true heart, a pure heart, because that is how we must draw near to God. Don’t misunderstand . . . we do not need to be totally without sin before we can approach God, because that is impossible. Even though all our sins are forgiven and wiped clean, we are still not completely without sin. It is the motivation of the heart that is in question here.

“To meet with the Holy One, our heart must be wholly given over to His will.” (Andrew Murray) When we first begin to wait upon God, we find out how treacherous our hearts really are. It is difficult to dispense with ulterior motives when praying. I find myself questioning my own motives, frequently, when I pray.

Why, for example, do most popular prayer “formulae” begin with “adoration” or “praise?” Pardon my cynicism, but I think it’s because we foolishly believe that we can “butter up” God. You know . . . “If I praise Him first, maybe He’ll answer my prayer.” Are we so naive that we don’t realize that He can see right through that?

The question also arises, what are we waiting for? When we pray, do we desire God’s gifts and actions more than we desire Himself? These are hard questions, I know. Trust me, I know, because I have grappled with them, myself, and still do. I pay attention to the words I pray. Sometimes I catch myself uttering silly, meaningless phrases, “vain repetitions,” when I pray. And when I do, I stop, immediately and confess. Sometimes, I even stop saying words for a few minutes and simply contemplate.

I don’t believe this is shameful, though, beloved. It is human. It is the normal behavior of us who are dust. And He remembers that we are dust.

I do long “for a sense of His holy presence and nearness.” Sometimes, I thirst for a manifestation of God’s power. But what is equally important is to know for whom we wait. I am not waiting on any human being to satisfy the longings of my soul. I am waiting for God and God alone, because it is He alone who is able, He alone who is worthy.

This just took an unexpected turn.

The prayer word of the day is “why.” I think the article intended it to be a question of “why,” as in “why is this happening to me?” And that, of course, is valid. However, this morning, I choose to look at it differently. And that, hopefully, will explain why I included it.

In the Weight Watchers community, it is strongly encouraged that we have a “why” in our mindset. Why am I doing this program? What is my reason? What is my “why?”

So what is my “why?”

Why do I continue to believe when so many of my old friends seem to have left the path? Why do I wait upon the Lord?

It is because I have experienced the nearness of God. I cannot prove it. I cannot even prove that God exists, just as an atheist cannot prove that He doesn’t. But I can firmly say, as Paul says,

But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
(2 Timothy 1:12 ESV)


For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

Does this mean I never have doubts? Oh, heck no. I certainly do. And I’m honest enough to admit it, unlike some. Frankly, I don’t believe anyone who says that they have never doubted.

Nevertheless, I am convinced of the same things of which Paul is convinced. And I know that it is on God alone that I wait. It is God and God alone who is worthy of my allegiance, my adoration, my praise, and my worship. He alone is worthy of my service, which works itself out in service to other humans.

My “why” is because He is faithful and has been faithful to me, for sixty-four years, through my unfaithfulness and my doubts. As I said above, I have experienced His nearness, His presence. I have felt His embrace. Scoff if you will, but that is something that can never be taken away from me.

Today's sources:
Pray a Word a Day
YouVersion Bible reading plan
Daily Guideposts 2022
Power in Prayer, by Andrew Murray

Father, I am so grateful for You. You have been faithful to me, all these years, in spite of my own unfaithfulness. I still, to this day, sometimes wander off the path, and You are always there to guide me back, usually gently. And I remain convinced of Your care for me, Your love for me, and that nothing can ever separate me from Your love.

You alone are worthy of my praise. You alone created all these things that we sometimes think belong to us. Yours is the glory; Yours is the honor; Yours is the praise. It is on You alone that I wait.

I know that You will never leave me or forsake me, and, consequently, do not feel that I need to ask for that.

What I do ask is that I would be able to reflect Your love to the world. Help me to have those “beautiful feet” that spread the Gospel of peace to the world, that tell the world that You reign. Let me be a channel of Your grace and mercy to all people, and not just to the ones who I think deserve it. I believe You want us to love everyone as best we can, the way You have loved us.

Hallelujah, my God! All glory to You! Who can satisfy my soul like You? You are my “fountain;” You are my King.

Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

When I Am Afraid . . .

Today is Thursday, the twenty-sixth of August, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,177

Eleven days until Labor Day

As I’m getting started, this morning, a question came up on Facebook, wondering what was the first movie I saw in a theater. I don’t rightly remember, as that was almost sixty years ago. However, the first movie I remember seeing was at the Pinto Drive-In, in Mineral Wells, Texas, and was a double feature of The Rounders, with Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda, and the science fiction movie, The First Men in the Moon. At least I think that was the combination. I know the second one is correct, and have vivid memories of that movie, as I was born to love science fiction.

C is working from home, today and tomorrow, this week, since she went in to the office on Tuesday, her normal work-from-home day. I don’t have any plans at all for today, but I might make a trip up to the library, as it looks like my first pay check might be a paper check. I doubt the direct deposit order has gotten completely processed, yet. On the other hand, I might also wait until Monday to pick it up next time I work.

I just remembered, I plan to make stir-fry tonight, so I need to get some chicken out of the freezer. Be right back.

Thanks for waiting. I got a second cup of coffee and took out the recycling, as well.

Today is Women’s Equality Day, recognizing the date, in 1920, when the nineteenth amendment to the US Constitution was certified. I’m a big proponent of women’s rights and equality, and recognize that, just as in the area of race equality, this nation has a long way to go.

The word for today is Xanadu. It’s a proper noun, defined as, “a place of great beauty, luxury, and contentment.” “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure-dome decree.” Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis Khan) was the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, Thirteenth century China. He built his capital in “Xanadu,” which was really called Shang-Tu. It’s also a pretty bad (from what I heard, as I’ve never seen it) movie, starring Olivia Newton-John.

Today’s quote is from Robert Frost. “The best way out is always through.” I’m not sure I agree with that 100%, but do believe that in many cases, it is true. There are times, however, that retreat is the best course of action.

And now for today’s birthdays:

1845 Mary Ann Nichols, English first victim of Jack the Ripper, born in London (d. 1888)
1874 Zona Gale, American novelist and playwright, 1st woman to win Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1921), born in Portage, Wisconsin (d. 1938)
1884 Earl Derr Biggers, American author ("Charlie Chan" detective series), born in Warren, Ohio (d. 1933)
1898 Peggy Guggenheim, American art patron & collector, born in NYC, New York (d. 1979)
1910 Mother Teresa [Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu], Albanian-born Indian nun and founder of Missionaries of Charity (Nobel Peace Prize, 1979), born in Skopje, Ottoman Empire (d. 1997)
1918 Katherine Johnson, American NASA mathematician (portrayed in film Hidden Figures), born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (d. 2020)
1921 Naomi Parker Fraley, American who inspired "Rosie the Riveter" poster, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (d. 2018)
1935 Geraldine Ferraro, American politician (US Representative from New York (D), 1979-85), and the 1st female vice-presidential nominee (1984), born in Newburgh, New York (d. 2011)
1939 Fred Milano, American doo-wop singer (Dion & The Belmonts), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2012)
1940 Don LaFontaine, American voice actor, movie trailer legend (d. 2008)
1941 Chris Curtis [Crummey], British rock drummer, songwriter and vocalist (The Searchers - "Needles And Pins"), born in Oldham, Lancashire (d. 2005)
1942 Vic Dana [Samuel Mendola], American singer and dancer ("Red Roses For A Blue Lady"), born in Buffalo, New York
1947 Candy Moore, American actress (Lunch Wagon, Tomboy & Champ, The Lucy Show, Leave It To Beaver), born in Maplewood, New Jersey
1949 Bob Cowsill, American musician (The Cowsills - "Hair"; "We Can Fly"), born in Newport, Rhode Island

1949 Leon Redbone [Dickran Gobalian], American blues and jazz musician ("Seduced"; "Theme to Mr. Belvedere"), born in Nicosia, Cyprus (d. 2019)
1952 Michael Jeter, American actor (The Fisher King), born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee (d. 2003)
1960 Branford Marsalis, American jazz, classical and funk saxophonist (Sting; Tonight Show, 1992-95), born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
1960 Keith Raniere, American sex cult leader (Nxivm) and felon, born in Brooklyn, New York
1966 Shirley Manson, Scottish rock singer (Garbage), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
1966 Dan Vickrey, American guitarist and songwriter (Counting Crows - "Accidentally in Love"), born in Walnut Creek, California
1969 Adrian Young, American drummer (No Doubt - "Don't Speak"), born in Long Beach, California
1970 Melissa McCarthy, American comedian and actress (Mike and Molly, Spy), born in Plainfield, Illinois
1980 Macaulay Culkin, American actor (Home Alone, My Girl, Richie Rich), born in NYC, New York
1980 Chris Pine, American actor (Star Trek), born in Los Angeles, California
1982 John Mulaney, American comedian, writer and actor (Saturday Night Live), born in Chicago, Illinois
1985 David Price, American MLB player (2012 Cy Young Award), born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Don LaFontaine (1940-2008)
Bob Cowsill, 72 years old today
Shirley Manson, 55 today
John Mulaney, 39 today. Some swears in this clip.


"Open, Lord, my eyes that I may see.
Open, Lord, my ears that I may hear.
Open, Lord, my heart and my mind that I may understand.
So shall I turn to You and be healed."

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
(Psalms 51:10-12 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. that You have created a clean heart within me, through the work of Jesus Christ
2. that You restore the joy of salvation to me, daily
3. that "You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before [You] in the light of life." (Psalms 56:13 NIV)
4. for the place You are preparing for me
5. that You, Jesus, have borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4)

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



LORD, you will always be proclaimed as God; all generations will remember you.
(Psalms 135:13 GNB)

As I pause, this morning, I reflect on God’s great grace, infinite and matchless, that has cleansed my soul from sin.


For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam. When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.

Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
(Psalms 56:1-4,12-13 NIV)


Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”
Moses replied:
“It is not the sound of victory,
it is not the sound of defeat;
it is the sound of singing that I hear.”
When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”
“Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”
(Exodus 32:15-24 NIV)


I remind myself of the presence of the Lord, and read these passages again, looking for words or phrases that speak to my spirit.

Immediately, I find that I wish I could hear what “A Dove on Distant Oaks” sounds like.

The psalm has some precious words in it. Verses 3 and 4 have long been favorites. There is a children’s video that we used to have, I think it was called “Hide ‘Em In Your Heart,” and it featured the great Christian vocalist Steve Green. One of the songs featured Psalm 56:3-4.

I may have told this story before, here, but can’t remember. Many years ago, when our oldest daughter (referred to as “R” in this blog) was a child, C (her mother) was going to night school to finish her college degree. One particular night, while C was in class, a very bad storm came through our area. At the suggestion of the weather powers-that-be, R and I huddled together in the hallway, with pillows. She suggested that we sing that particular Scripture song while we waited for the storm to pass. It is one of the sweetest memories I have of her childhood.

As “grups” (a classic Star Trek reference, if you will), we have many opportunities to have childlike faith, and taking to heart the truth of Psalm 56:3-4 is certainly one of those. There are always times when we are afraid. Sometimes those fears are valid, sometimes they are silly. But in either case, we can put our trust in the Lord when we are afraid. In this case, David was being pursued by “adversaries.” And, in verse 4, he realizes the truth of the rhetorical-ish question, “What can mere mortals do to me?”

I have frequently said that the worst thing any other human can do to me is send me Home. The point is that no one can do anything to me to sever my relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Not only is there no condemnation for us who are in Christ, there is also no danger of anyone else being able to damage that relationship.

Then, for today’s reading, we skip to the last two verses, and there is great comfort in verse 13.

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
(Psalms 56:13 NIV)

It is because of truths like that that I can put my trust in Him “when I am afraid.”

Just a quick note on the passage from Exodus. If it weren’t so tragic, it would be hilarious. But Aaron’s comment in the last verse is so humanly typical. “Out came this calf,” he proclaimed, as though he had nothing to do with it. I’m really kind of shocked that Aaron wasn’t “fired” at this point, but God graciously allowed him to continue on.

If we read on, we see that that Lord was gracious, but did state that He would punish people for their sins.

Father, I thank You that, because of the truths proclaimed in Your Word, I can put my trust in You anytime I am afraid. In fact, it causes me to not be afraid more often. I believe in Your Word, and I trust in You, therefore, I am afraid less often. The times that I do become afraid are because I have developed temporary insanity and forgotten the truth of Your Word. You are gracious, and You forgive when those times occur. And I also praise You that, because I live in the post-Jesus era, that I don’t have to worry about being punished for my sins because Jesus has already accomplished that for us.

May You give us more of a yearning to know You and the diligence of heart to seek Your face, daily. Please restore to us the joy of Your salvation, also on a daily basis, that we may experience You in Your fullness of joy. Father, I pray for wisdom for any family and/or friends who have not experienced Your salvation. May You surround them with Your Holy Spirit today.

"Father God,
like the Israelites,
I become what I worship.
They worshiped a golden calf and ran wild like laughable livestock;
I serve money and become a calculating machine,
or a slave to my career.
Focus me on Jesus,
so that I might become like him.


May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and in his grace gave us unfailing courage and a firm hope, encourage you and strengthen you to always do and say what is good.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 GNB)

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
(John 14:3 ESV)

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17 ESV)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
(John 15:12-14 ESV)

And what does He command? Love God . . . love people.

Rich and friends

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
(Isaiah 53:4 ESV)

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!

Grace and peace, friends.

He Holds the Keys

Today is Sunday, the eleventh of July, 2021.

May the peace of God reign in your life!

Day 23,131 (the number of days I have lived on this planet)

39 days until S’s birthday!

Yesterday was one of those days. We’ve all had them. The kind you don’t want to see any more of.

It started with me gaining 2.6 pounds, inexplicably, at the weigh-in. I expected to gain, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. I only expected it because it’s what my home scale said was happening. Doesn’t make me happy about, and also, there is no logical explanation for it. I rarely go over my daily point budget, and never more than five points, if I do. Not enough to gain that much in a week.

The day continued with the last workshop with our favorite WW coach ever. We said goodbye to Kim, with many tears, yesterday morning. We gave her a gift. Since I had found out that she is a gamer, primarily playing on PS4, same as me, we got her the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, which I have been playing for the past few weeks. She was very excited about that.

Then we had a huge fight with S over whether we were having Applebee’s for a meal, yesterday. She wanted it for lunch, because we are having a cookout after church today, and won’t be having Applebee’s for lunch. The fight escalated into one of those legendary fights, the likes of which we haven’t experienced in a long time. Everyone was mad by the time we got home. We picked up our Walmart grocery order, and got it unloaded and put away.

Oh, I almost forgot. In the middle of all of this, C was having a work crisis, so she had to get online, while I brought in the groceries and put them away. After getting the Walmart order put away, I headed to Alberton’s to pick up the burger patties for our cookout, along with other things that we don’t get at Walmart. That didn’t take too long, and I was feeling better, at least emotionally, by the time I got home with that load. That was when the day took the worst turn of all.

We couldn’t find Luna (cat).

This started while I was bringing in the groceries from Albertson’s. I had pulled the door just to the brink of closed, but didn’t shut it all the way. We do this, so we can kick it open with two hands full of grocery bags. When I headed back to the car, Rocky (other cat, Russian Blue named after Sergio Rachmaninoff) was nosing about the front door, which had opened, slightly. The only time he has gotten out, he got terrified and hid under the neighbor’s trash bin.

I nudged him away from the door and went back out. When I got back with the last of the groceries, the door had swung further open and Rocky was actually standing on the front porch!

When I told C about that, she started to panic, because she didn’t see Luna anywhere. This panic bled over into S, so she started to panic. We looked all over the house, in all the closets, under the beds . . . no Luna to be seen. By now, I’m panicking, too, even though I was pretty well convinced that she had not gotten out of the house.

We went ahead and had our brunch, but the mood was about as dark as it’s ever been in our house. After we ate, I tried to play my game, but was distracted. I eventually even went out and drove around the block a few times. Depression was setting in. S put an ad up on the Nextdoor app, asking people to help us find her.

I’m not sure how many hours went by. C put Luna’s food dish out on the front porch, and even put a litter box out there.

I had settled in to play my game, finally. I just happened to be looking down, to my left, when Luna sauntered out of the bedroom and stretched, as though nothing had ever been wrong.

That must have been one heck of a nap. There’s a part of us that wonders if she was really lost, and God just “poofed” her back into the house. I don’t know that she has ever stayed out of sight for that long, before. She probably has, but once that seed of doubt is planted, things just escalate.

So, everything turned out fine. And we had Applebee’s for dinner.


"Open, Lord, my eyes that I may see.
Open, Lord, my ears that I may hear.
Open, Lord, my heart and my mind that I may understand.
So shall I turn to You and be healed."

Fear the LORD, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.
(Psalms 34:9 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. that we found Luna (cat) yesterday.
2. for the worship and fellowship we will experience today.
3. that I have all that I need.
4. that You, Jesus, are alive for ever and ever.
5. that You, Jesus, hold the keys of death and Hades. You are my Source and my Destination.
6. that You are present, at all times, whether we realize it or acknowledge it. You are always here.

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



The LORD their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be!
(Zechariah 9:16-17a NIV)

I pause to reflect on the Lord saving His people, and how we will sparkle like jewels and be beautiful. This is something that we don’t consider, often, I think.


For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue—
those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
(Psalms 12:1-4 NIV)

You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race.
(Psalms 12:7-8 NIV)


I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
(Revelation 1:9-18 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my thought, meditations, and prayers. Help me to enjoy Your presence, this morning.

The psalmist is obviously using hyperbole in this particular song, as it is a complete exaggeration to say that “no one” is faithful any more. But, even in our day and time, we say things like that. “No one cares, any more,” we say, or similar things. I’ve been guilty of saying that no one has any work ethic, any more. At least no one younger than me. Which makes me sound like a grumpy old codger.

But some things never change. It does seem like society, as a whole, works on the principle of flattery. How many bosses have we seen that prefer “yes men?” One of my favorite bosses wound up leaving the company because he was most definitely not a “yes man.” I’m not either. I will tell you the truth, not what you want to hear, about a situation. It is literally impossible for me to “suck up.”

I find the statement in Psalm 11:4 to be somewhat amusing. Anyone who believes that they can prevail with their tongues and be defended by their own lips deserves what they get. The utterance of mere words is useless when action is required. Rush once played a song that said, “Show me, don’t tell me.”

There is a quote that is attributed, sometimes, to Francis of Assisi, that says, “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” He probably didn’t really say that. But the idea behind it is not necessarily wrong. Ligonier Ministries once changed that, slightly, to say, “Preach the gospel at all times, and since it’s necessary, use words.”

Either way, the point is that our walk needs to match our talk. Flattering lips are useless, and even an abomination.

When John got his introduction to the risen Christ, in Revelation 1, part of the image, the vision, that he saw, featured a sharp, double-edged sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus. If you remember, Paul equated the sword with the Word of God, that which comes out of His mouth. The writer of Hebrews said that the Word of God, being living and active, is actually sharper than any double-edged sword.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
(Hebrews 4:12 NLT)

The Word of God is truth; it is not flattery. Everything that comes out of the mouth of God is sharp and cutting, exposing “our innermost thoughts and desires.” That should probably scare us a little bit.

Or not, because Jesus also told John, “Do not be afraid.” And when He said that, He touched John.

So right now, I am stopping to ponder that moment, what it must have been like to be John, at that moment, having the resurrected Christ physically tough him and speak to him.

He is the First and the Last, the Living One. He is our Source, and He is our Destination. He was, for a short time, dead, and now lives, for ever and ever. And He holds the keys of death and Hades.

Those words should cause us to sit up and take notice of Him, the Son of God. If ever there was one about Whom it could be said, “It is all about . . . ,” it is Jesus.

Father, I worship You, and I worship Jesus, though Whom all things were created. Lord, for the rest of my days, keep Jesus in front of me. Let Him be the “big picture” of my life, the all-encompassing, all-consuming fire of my existence. There is no other Name by which we are saved, and He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to You by any other path then Jesus.

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. 
Living One,
what will it be like to see you face to face?
Brilliant light,
blazing eyes,
feet like fire,
and face like the sun--
falling before you will seem the most obvious thing to do.
And yet you bid me not to be afraid,
so I look forward to basking in your presence.
(Belgic Confession 37)


May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV)

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
(Psalms 34:10 NLT)

For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
(Psalms 81:10 NLT)

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
(Isaiah 53:4-5 NLT)

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
(Romans 5:11 NLT)

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 3:11 NLT)

Father, You are here, always. And “here” is wherever I am. I thank You that You are present, always, even when I don’t feel it, know it, or acknowledge it. However, those times when I do feel Your presence, and acknowledge Your presence, are so much more meaningful. You have filled my life with “good things,” Lord, and I thank You for this. Forgive my mindset and attitude for something as trivial as a seemingly lost cat. Yet You provided and our beloved family pet was not, in fact, ever lost. We are so fragile and fickle, Father. Forgive us and strengthen us. Continue to show me these truths as I walk in Your Kingdom.

Lord, grant us resurrection hope and joy, this morning. May we experience the touch of Jesus, as He bids us not be afraid. Help us to be faithful in sharing the good news of the Gospel, whenever called upon.

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!

I used to be able to sing this. 🙂

Grace and peace, friends.

Joy Comes In the Morning

Today is Sunday, the twenty-first of March, 2021. The Fifth Sunday in Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,019

Fourteen days until Resurrection Sunday

It was a great day, yesterday. As expected, C has obtained her Lifetime membership in WW (formerly Weight Watchers)! What this means is that, going forward, she only has to weigh in once a month, and, as long as she is within that two pounds of her goal (above or below), she will not be charged for her membership. It was a very exciting morning.

Somewhere around mid-afternoon, I began to feel what I can only surmise were the effects of that second Covid-19 vaccine shot. I was surprised that I began feeling effects that long afterward, but the way I felt line up with what other people had experienced. It wasn’t terrible, I will say that. But I felt on the verge of sick. Just an over-all sense of not feeling well, almost-but-not-quite-feverish (there was never any fever, I checked it several times, and it was always below 98), not quite aching, and just over-all “bleah.”

So I took some Advil and went to bed much earlier than I normally would on a Saturday night. I feel fine, this morning, after another great night of sleep.

We have our usual Zoom church gathering, this morning, at 10:15. For lunch today, we are planning something different. As part of my ten-year anniversary swag from my employer, I chose a sous vide cooker. I had been wanting to try one of those for a long time, and never purchased one. Well, this one cost me nothing buy work reward points. So we put some fresh chicken breasts in a ziploc bag, yesterday, along with some new seasoning that we bought at WW, yesterday morning (a BBQ flavor seasoning), and we will try cooking that, today, with the sous vide cooker, for lunch.

S may not be happy that we are not getting Applebee’s, but she’ll live. Maybe we will get that for dinner, or one night this week. I will try to remember to share how the chicken tasted.

Oh, I forgot to share my own WW results from yesterday. I lost .6 pound, which put me below where I was three weeks ago. I had one week where I remained the same, and then gained .4 on my birthday (boo!), but lost that back, this past week. So I am at my lowest point, so far, in this journey. But yesterday was all about C and her lifetime accomplishment!


I Am Bending My Knee

I am bending my knee
In the eye of the Father who created me,
In the eye of the Son who purchased me,
In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me,
In friendship and affection.
Through Thine own Anointed One, O God,
Bestow upon us fullness in our need,
Love towards God,
The affection of God,
The smile of God,
The wisdom of God,
The grace of God,
The fear of God,
And the will of God
To do on the world of the Three,
As angels and saints
Do in heaven;
Each shade and light,
Each day and night,
Each time in kindness,
Give Thou us Thy Spirit.

(Alexander Carmichael, from Carmina Gadelica)

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
(Psalms 65:12-13 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  • for an almost overwhelming sense of peace, this morning
  • that You were “broken and spilled out” for us, just like Mary’s vial of perfume
  • that, though weeping tarries in the night, joy comes in the morning
  • that Your faithful love never ends
  • that C accomplished her lifetime goal, yesterday

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 spending a moment in quiet meditation, considering the righteousness of God in all His ways.


A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

I will exalt you, LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.
You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
(Psalms 30:1-5 NIV)


Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
(John 12:1-8 NIV)


As I enjoy the presence of the Father, this morning, I reflect on these passages. I find great comfort in the last four phrases of the reading from Psalms. “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

I keep returning to Dallas Willard’s definition of “joy” as “a pervasive sense of well-being.” Webster’s defines “pervasive” as “existing in or spreading through every part of something.” So, if that sense of well-being is “pervasive,” it is existing in or spreading through every part of my life.

And I feel that, this morning. I have experienced the weeping, but it always gives way to joy. There have been many times in my life when I thought that God was angry with me. Right or no, I still felt that way. But I know that His favor is eternal, and that will never change.

Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, displayed her joy, even though, in her act of worship and sacrifice, there were tears. I believe her tears were tears of gratitude and joy. We don’t see the tears in John’s version of this event, but in another gospel account (I don’t believe she is named in that one), she washes Jesus’s feet with her tears and hair. What a beautiful picture!

I’m going down a small “rabbit trail.” I sincerely hope that, when we reach our eternal Home, we can skip back in human time and watch certain events occur. One obvious one would be the moment of the resurrection of Christ, which no human being observed. But this event, when Mary busts open a vial of perfume that was worth a year’s wages (can you imagine pouring a $50,000 bottle of perfume out on someone’s head??) is one that I would definitely like to watch.

And then we all go “SSSSSSSS” when Judas objects. Hahaha!!

It is said that there will be no tears in heaven. But does that include tears of joy? Because I do hope that there will be tears of joy. I choose to believe that it is only tears of sadness and pain that will be eliminated.

And just like that vial of perfume, Jesus, Himself was “broken and spilled out” for us, being of far more value than a little bottle of perfume.

Thank You, Jesus! My words of gratitude are far from adequate to express my gratitude for Your sacrifice for us. I do try to live my life in such a way that it also expresses such gratitude, even though it could never be enough. I want to live my life in a way that expresses my love for You and Your love for me. Help me to display that love toward everyone I encounter in my daily life. Thank You for the example of Mary, and for how much she devoted her life to You, being content to sit at Your feet and listen to Your words. May I share that contentment and hang on every word You speak, and every action You do.

Beautiful Savior,
what can I offer to you for the lavish gift of your loving sacrifice?
I joyfully offer you my life,
my worship,
my treasure,
my time,
and a willing delight to do every kind of good.
(Heidelberg Catechism 90)


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)

On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again.
(Zephaniah 3:20 NLT)

The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)

Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
(Psalms 36:5 NLT)

No matter what comes our way today, this week, next week, the rest of this year, we can take comfort in knowing that our Father knows it all; He knows what was, what is, and what will be. And He will be there with us through it all.
(Thanks to Kim Taylor Henry in today’s reading from Daily Guideposts 2021)

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:
“I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.
“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”
(Revelation 2:12-17 NLT)

The Christians at Pergamum had done a great job of persevering through the persecution. However, as John relates Jesus’s words to them, from his exile on Patmos, it is pointed out that there are some in their midst who would have them relax their standards a little bit.

Says Eugene Peterson, “Sometimes it is easier to die for the truth in a crisis than to live the truth through a dull week at work.” Remember, the chapter is called “The Test of Our Truth.” This test is played out through those “ordinary hours when we don’t know we are being examined.”

But be sure that people are watching, especially if they know you claim to follow Christ. “Truth is not just right answers but a right life.” It is far easier to join a crowd of protesters than it is to love your neighbor.

“Christ is our comprehensive, personal truth to be expressed in gestures, actions, and conversations when no one is watching.”

Balaam’s teaching, which we looked at yesterday, attempts to make things more easy and clear than the really are. They add to the Gospel and elaborate on “real truth.” “Gospel truth is always personal, direct, obedient – a way to live in love and courage and adoration.”

The Greek word for “truth” is “aletheia.” I have verified this with my own brief research. The literal meaning of the word is “the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident.” So, for example, in Matthew 5, when the woman pressed in to Jesus, through the crowd, and touched his robe and was healed, when it became evident who had done this, she told the “truth.” She became “unhidden.”

Eugene Peterson says, “The truth test bares our being before Christ’s being. We are seen in the concrete, not the abstract – as livers of this life, of my life as it is.” Who and what we are is revealed in the reality of the light of Jesus Christ. As it says in Hebrews 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”

The test of truth asks not, “What do you think?” Rather, it asks “Who are you?” And this next statement is very interesting. “God is not nearly as interested with what we say about him to others as he is with what we say to him.”

The letter to the Church at Pergamum, just like all the letters, closes with a promise. “To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.” (verse 17)

“The hidden manna is the food that God gives to his people, the nourishment that keeps them going.” And the white stone, the new name, is an identification that Christ will give to His people. “He will sustain us, and he will identify us as his own.”

(From This Hallelujah Banquet, by Eugene H. Peterson)

Father, may my life express Your truth in all ways. Help me to not cave to the pressure of popular opinion. But at the same time, truth must always be expressed in a loving manner. So may that always be true, as well. I desire to be seen as one who loves, not as a “hater.” So let truth be my banner, but may it be held up by love, and, as much as possible for a human being, let that love be agape love, that which can only come from You.

May all in Your Church experience resurrection hope and joy, this morning, knowing Your presence, wherever they may be today. Help us all to be better harbingers of Your Gospel of peace, announcing that Your Kingdom is at hand, available for all, right here, right now.

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!

Grace and peace, friends.

God and God Alone

Today is Saturday, June 30, 2018. Day 22,024. Last day of June.

“Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad.” ~ Diogenes the Cynic, 412-323 BC, The Quotations Page

The word for today is rutilant, “glowing or glittering with ruddy or golden light.”

It looks like our favorite local BBQ place has finally reopened. Lone Star BBQ, which used to be located about a block from our Kroger store, closed that location almost a year ago, stating that the new location would be opening in November. Eight months later, they have finally reopened. We plan to have lunch there today. Or at least we’re going to pick it up and bring it home, which is what we usually do, anyway. Unfortunately, it appears that the new location does not have a drive-through. That’s okay, though.

The Red Sox were embarrassed by the Yankees last night, losing 8-1. They should have bunted more. Sabathia was pitching. Oh, well. Their record is now 55-28, and they are in second place in the AL East, by .008 percentage points. Virtual tie, actually.

The Rangers exploded on the Other Sox, last night, scoring ten runs in three innings. They held on to win 11-3. This puts them at 37-46, nine games below .500 and 17.5 out in the AL West. As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Baltimore continues to be the worst in baseball, having now lost six consecutive games. They are on a pace to lose 117 games. The most losses ever was the 1962 Mets, who lost 120 games. In recent years (fifteen years ago), the Detroit Tigers lost 119 games. The worst season percentage in the modern era was the 1916 Philadelphia Phillies, who finished the season with a 36-117 record, for a percentage of .235. The O’s are currently at .284.

Tomorrow, we will be continuing our series on the Sabbath, and I will continue my “break” from playing keys in our worship gathering. I hope to spend some more time in the study, today, learning how to use my new Cubase recording software. As soon as I get something accomplished that is worthy of sharing, I will do so, probably through Soundcloud.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 
Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 
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? 
The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. 
All nations surrounded me; in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 
They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 
They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off! 
I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me.

Psalm 118:1-13

Several things to note in this passage. First, the words “steadfast love” are often translated as “mercy.” Those seem to be interchangeable. Second, verses 5-7. When we call upon the Lord in our distress, he will answer; he will deliver. Verse 6 is powerful. “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Emphasis added) I love this truth. It is because of truths such as this that Dallas Willard once said, “This world is a perfectly safe place for us to be.” What is the worst thing that men can do to me? Send me “home.” It’s almost like “punishing” a child by sending him to his room, where all his toys are. The worst possible thing men can do to me is kill me, which would release my soul from this tormented body and send it home to be with the Lord for all eternity. So what do I have to fear?

Finally, verses 8-9 speak volumes, especially in the current U.S. culture. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.” I like the way The Message says this: “Far better to take refuge in GOD than trust in people; Far better to take refuge in GOD than trust in celebrities.” I choose to trust and take refuge in God. I will not put my trust in celebrities. I will not put my trust in “princes” (i.e. Presidents and other politicians). I will put my trust in God and God alone.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I have been reading Job, recently. Today I get to chapter 38. The one where God decides to answer. I would love to be able to see the faces of Job and his “friends” when God speaks up: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” (Verses 2-3) I think this could easily apply to any of us, today, as well, as we, all to often, wax eloquently about our “knowledge” of God, when, in fact, we truly know very little. He is, after all, infinite, and we are the opposite of that.

The Lord continues: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” If I were one of Job’s friends, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t still be sitting there. Or perhaps I might be face down in sheer terror.

This line of questioning will continue for several chapters. Do I think God is angry? Not 100% sure, but I don’t think so. I can almost see God (even though I have no idea what he looks like) asking these questions with a bit of a smirk on his face.

At any rate, I think we would do well to read and meditate on the last few chapters of Job. Again, making reference to Romans 9, But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 
Psalm 25:4

One of my memory verses, I believe this short verse to be a most magnificent prayer, and one that God would be sure to answer. There are other verses in Psalms that request the same thing. In fact, my life verse, also makes this request.

Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
Psalm 86:11

I desire to know his ways for no other reason than to walk in his truth. I do not desire riches or fame, or even perfect health. All of those things are nice. But my heart’s desire is to know his ways, that I might walk in his truth, in his kingdom, and that my heart might not be divided. God and God alone . . .

Father, you alone are “fit to take the universe’s throne.” You alone are worthy of our worship and praise. You alone are worthy of our devotion. Teach us your ways; show us your path; teach us to love you and walk in your truth and your kingdom. Show us the things that divide our hearts. And teach us not to trust in men and “celebrities.”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Dear Father always near us, may your name be treasured and loved, may your rule be completed in us – may your will be done here on earth in just the way it is done in heaven. Give us today the things we need today, and forgive us our sins and impositions on you as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us. Please don’t put us through trials, but deliver us from everything bad. Because you are the one in charge, and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours – forever – which is just the way we want it! (Dallas Willard)

Grace and peace, friends.