A Thousand More Hallelujahs!

Good morning. Today is Tuesday, the twenty-second of February, 2022, in the seventh week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ reign in your heart today!

Day 23,357

I don’t think the storms we got last night were nearly as severe as expected. In fact, I’m not even sure we got a “storm.” I do remember seeing lightning and hearing thunder, between 9 and 10 last night. But I was not awakened by any wind or rain or anything, during the night. Perhaps I should consult S. She would know.

The winter weather is still coming, though, it appears. The temperature is expected to drop at least thirty degrees between this morning and tomorrow morning, hitting thirty degrees around 6-7 in the morning. And that is supposed to be the high for tomorrow, as the temperature will continue to drop, but only a couple more degrees. The snow or precipitation is not supposed to begin until around midnight tomorrow night, though. So it looks like Thursday will be the worst day of it. There might be some light snow tomorrow afternoon, but the heaviest part looks like it is predicted around 2-3 in the morning, Thursday morning. But, it is supposed to get above freezing Thursday afternoon.

I’m hoping that C will plan to work from home on Thursday, just in case. I don’t work tomorrow or Thursday, so I will be safely bundled up in the house.

I don’t have much planned for today. I have a small grocery delivery coming between 1-2, this afternoon. I will go pick up lunch for me and S, around noon, probably. C has a dinner with work people, this evening, so she will not be home for dinner, tonight. And, of course, I will be roaming the shelves at the Hurst Public Library this evening, from 4-8 PM.


"If you are the Son,"
the devil said to Jesus,
knowing that He was.

"Not by bread alone,
but by words spoken from God.
Worship Him alone!"
(Inspired by Matthew 4)
The LORD reigns; 
he is robed in majesty; 
the LORD is robed; 
he has put on strength as his belt. 
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. 
Your throne is established from of old; 
you are from everlasting. 
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, 
the floods have lifted up their voice; 
the floods lift up their roaring. 
Mightier than the thunders of many waters, 
mightier than the waves of the sea, 
the LORD on high is mighty! 
Your decrees are very trustworthy; 
holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. 
(Psalms 93:1-5 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that our storms last night, if any, were not severe
2. for the intrinsic holiness of the Name of God
3. that, even though that Name transcends us all, it is still accessible to us
4. for "hallelujahs," no matter how often they come, and how quietly they may be uttered
5. for the people who can write songs so full of meaning and inspiration

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. Amen.

I’m continuing to look at Simone Weil’s examination of the “prayer of prayers,” in Spiritual Classics, by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. Today, I’m looking at the phrase, “hallowed be Your Name.”

Simone tells us that “God alone has the power to name himself. She also opines that His name is “unpronounceable for human lips.” We might object to this, thinking that He told us His name when He told Moses “I AM” had sent him. And most are aware that this was “YHWH” in Hebrew.

But how many of you have seen a production of the musical “Cats?” In this adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s epic poem collection, cats are said to have two names. One that the humans know, and one that only they know. Yes, I know . . . God is not a cat (or is He?)(settle down, that’s a joke). But is it so far-fetched to think that He has a name or names that we couldn’t possible comprehend or pronounce? I mean, there are no less than a dozen other “names” that He is given, throughout the Old Testament.

And the beauty of this is that, even though the name(s) of God is transcendent to us, we still have access to Him and His name(s). Also interesting is that the name of the Lord is, in itself, holy and holiness. Therefore, to ask for His name to be “hallowed,” is to ask for something that already exists, or already is. I think Simone words this beautifully.

“In asking for its hallowing we are asking for something that exists eternally, with full and complete reality, so that we can neither increase nor diminish it, even by an infinitesimal fraction. To ask for that which exists, that which exists really, infallibly, eternally, quite independently of our prayer, that is the perfect petition.”

I might be, however, of the opinion that that phrase is not so much a “petition” as it is stating a fact. “Our Father in heaven, Your Name is holy.” Or, perhaps, it may even be a petition that His Name be acknowledged as holy throughout the world.

Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.
(1 Corinthians 14:1 MSG)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
(Psalms 28:7 ESV)

“You can complain . . . but it doesn’t stop the wind. Just sing along with what’s going on around you.” Advice from the Grandpa of Erika Bentsen, Daily Guideposts writer.

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
(Psalms 32:11 ESV)

Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD, exulting in his salvation.
(Psalms 35:9 ESV)

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
(Psalms 98:4 ESV)

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
(Psalms 105:3 ESV)

Today’s prayer word is a rousing “hallelujah!” The quote, ironically, is from a very popular (and over-covered) Leonard Cohen song.

“And every breath we drew was Hallelujah.”

The word we see as “hallelujah,” is actually two words, in Hebrew. It is most often seen at the beginning and ending of a number of the Psalms; for example, Psalm 150.

Praise the LORD! 

Praise God in his sanctuary; 
praise him in his mighty heavens!
 Praise him for his mighty deeds; 
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
 Praise him with trumpet sound; 
praise him with lute and harp! 
Praise him with tambourine and dance; 
praise him with strings and pipe!
 Praise him with sounding cymbals; 
praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! 

Praise the LORD! 
(Psalms 150:1-6 ESV)

The phrase that is translated “praise the LORD,” is “halal yahh.” That eventually became mashed together to be “hallelujah.” By the way, I knew this before reading today’s reading.

We throw the word around, sometimes, but even so, it is usually a celebratory meaning. I breathe the word, frequently. Sometimes, it could be over something as simple as a traffic light staying green for just a few more seconds. Other times, it might be shouted, when something inspirational happens during a worship time. Says our writer, identified only as “Bob,” “It enlivens my prayers, probably more than any other word. i pray it in good moods and bad, in ecstasy and misery, and it never fails to express my desires and lift my spirits. Hallelujah.”

It’s true. Sometimes, just saying the word can lift the spirits. So it’s definitely a great word to use in our prayers.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, 
"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns."
(Revelation 19:6 ESV)

By the way, in case anyone wonders, here is what Cohen said about his song:

“This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can… reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that’s what I mean by ‘Hallelujah’.

“The song explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist, and all the perfect and broken hallelujahs have equal value. It’s a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.”

Father, I cry “hallelujah” to You, this morning, in praise to the intrinsic holiness of Your Name. I sing praise to every Name of Yours that I can think of, and to the ones that I do not know and cannot know. I sing praise to You, because You, in Your infinite and absolute holiness, are, nevertheless, accessible to us. You have condescended to treat with us, and we, in no way, shape, or form, deserve this. So, “hallelujah!”

I thank You for the many admonitions that we see to sing and praise Your Name. I keep coming back to this, and am still aware that I need to do more singing. I find it coming back to me, though, as I randomly burst into song, during my days. So thank You for this. I pray that it continues to grow and swell within me, so that I cannot contain it, but it must be released.

I also pray that You help me continue to do what 1 Corinthians 14:1 says, to go after a life of love like my life depends on it . . . because it does! And help me remember that good advice, that complaining doesn’t stop the wind. It really does no good at all. So let us sing “hallelujah!” instead.

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


Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Here’s a different “Hallelujah.”

Grace and peace, friends.

The Springs of Joy

Today is Sunday, the twenty-sixth of September, 2021

Shalom Aleichem!

There are only four more days left in September!

Day 23,208

Sixteen days until our 36th anniversary!

Yesterday was a pretty unremarkable, restful day. I did finally make myself get on the treadmill and walk for a little over twenty minutes. I followed a guide on a forest path that ended at a beautiful waterfall. We have iFit videos available on our treadmill. Technology is wonderful when it works.

This morning, we have our worship gathering at 10:15. Apparently, the hosts have decided to open up their home if anyone wants to be in person. C and I will be on Zoom. When we are still, as a country, having almost 150,000 new cases every day and around two thousand deaths every day, we aren’t quite ready to get close to people, if it is avoidable. Plus, I don’t think C is ready to go sit for an hour-plus in unfamiliar chairs.

Today is Rivers Day, which is interesting, considering that the Bible verses from Psalm speak of “fountains” or “springs.”

The word for today is perfidy, a noun that means, “deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery.”

Today’s quote is from Finley Peter Dunne, an American journalist. “The past always looks better than it was. It’s only pleasant because it isn’t here.”

Significant birthdays on September 26:

St. Francis of Assissi, Italian founder of the Franciscan Order, 1181-1226
Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), legendary American planter of trees, 1774-1845
T.S. Eliot, American poet (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats), 1888-1965
Martin Heidegger, German philosopher, 1889-1976
George Gershwin, American composer (Rhapsody in Blue), 1898-1937
Jack LaLanne, American fitness icon, 1914-2011
Marty Robbins, American country singer (El Paso, Big Iron, Streets of Laredo), 1925-1982
Bryan Ferry, British singer-songwriter (Love Is the Drug), 1945 (76)
Lynn Anderson, American country singer (Rose Garden), 1947-2015
Olivia Newton-John, British-Australian singer (Hopelessly Devoted to You, I Honestly Love You), 1948 (73)
Linda Hamilton, American actress (Terminator), 1956 (65)

I slept until 8:00 AM, today, which is remarkable. I have certainly been sleeping better since I got away from my old job. Imagine that. At any rate, I’d best get into the devotional because I just have an hour until our gathering begins.

Right after I get another cup of coffee.


What Love Can Do, by Daryl Madden

Beginning with the Word
The light comes pouring through
Forming all creation
Look what love can do

It was just a seed
That birthed our life anew
Grace of multiplying
See what love can do

Displayed upon the cross
Poured out for me and you
Even death was conquered
Know what love can do

With a simple prayer
Of faith beyond our view
Never underestimate
Just what love can do

“Never underestimate just what love can do.” Such an important message for our time.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
(Jeremiah 29:13 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that You are much easier to find than people believe
2. that Your plans for me, and Your love for me go far beyond anything I could ask or imagine
3. that, though the mountains be shaken and the hills removed, Your steadfast love for us will not be shaken, nor will Your covenant of peace be removed
4. that my salvation is not based on any "good things" that I have done, but completely and utterly based on You and the work of Christ
5. that, because You are for us, none can be against us, when we are walking in obedience to Your Word - there is none who can condemn us, because Jesus Christ intercedes for us

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



Shout for joy to God,
all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
(Psalms 66:1-2 NIV)

I pause during this quiet moment to remind my soul of Your constant presence, that You surround me, and that You dwell within me.


Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. A song.

He has founded his city on the holy mountain.
The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.

Glorious things are said of you, city of God:
“I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me— Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush— and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.'”
Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.”
The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.”

As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”
(Psalms 87:1-7 NIV)


The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”
The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
(1 Samuel 16:10-13 NIV)


I quietly read these passages again. What catches my eye? What moves me? What will I pray to the Lord because of what I have seen, this morning?

My heart is drawn to verse 2 of the psalm. “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.” I like, as well, the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases this verse in The Message: “and oh, how GOD loves his home! Loves it far better than all the homes of Jacob put together!”

Is it fair to equate this with the Church, the Bride of Christ? I believe that it is. We, the people of God, are those who comprise the Church, and the Lord dwells within us, via the Holy Spirit, which makes us His Home.

Isn’t that ironic? (I may or may not be using that word correctly.) We are His Home, yet, we are longing for our Home, which will be in Him. And what, exactly, is the “new Jerusalem” of which Revelation 21 speaks? It is written that the new Jerusalem descends from heaven, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” That bride is none other than the Church.

The message, today, I believe, is that we need to never forget that God loves the Church. I’m speaking of the larger body, here. When I speak of local bodies of believer, it will always be “church” with a lower-case “c.” When I write “Church,” with an upper-case “C,” it refers to the body of Christ, His bride, made up of believers from all over the world, people from First Baptist Church of whatever city you live in, the Methodist church down the street, the Presbyterian church that I went to for a while, and all of those alleged “non-denominational” churches. And the church that meets at Brandon and Kristin’s house. All together, we make up The Church, and God loves The Church!

I have believed for many years, and will continue to do so, that one cannot claim to love Jesus and not love the Church. Yes, she is a mess, right now, and probably always has been. But that is because She still resides on earth. Someday, She will be purified, and on that day, there will be a wedding. I have no idea what that will look like. Revelation only offers us a “through a glass darkly” picture of it, entrenched in symbolic language. But rest assured that it will be the most beautiful thing we have ever witnessed.

And what glory it will be to see your name listed among those who were “born” in her.

As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”
(Psalms 87:7 NIV)

I’m not going to pretend to be wise enough to completely understand verse 7, but I can sense that it is joyful. “All my fountains are in you,” shout the singers and dancers, as they make music. I will defer to the words of Matthew Henry, regarding this verse. “The springs of the joy of a carnal worldling lie in wealth and pleasure; but the springs of the joy of a gracious soul lie in the word of God and prayer. Christ is the true temple; all our springs are in him, and from him all our streams flow.”

Mr. Henry also makes mention of Isaiah 54:10.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
(Isaiah 54:10 NIV)

Father, I am so grateful to be a part of Your Church! I have loved the Church for as long as I can remember. When I was but a young boy, I loved “going to church.” I loved being in Sunday School, learning about and reading Your Word. After six decades, my love for Your Word has not waned. Yes, there have been periods of my life where it has been stronger and more vivid than other periods (and truthfully, I believe that this current “period” is one of those where it is quite strong), but I have always loved Your Word and Your Church. Thank You for keeping that love within me strong. I pray for Your Church, today. I can’t speak for other nations, but in this one, there is great and sorrowful division within the Body of Christ, sowed by Your enemy. I pray for unity. I pray that all people within Your Church would focus their allegiance and worship toward Jesus Christ, not toward any human being, government party, or set of policies. Let Your Word be our only “policy,” Lord! I praise You that Your love for us will never depart, nor Your peace be removed. May we focus on this, Father, and prepare ourselves for the wedding day!

May the risen Christ dwell in our hearts, Father, and may we all experience spiritual refreshing and renewal.

"King of kings,
in Your anointing is a new life.
Drenched with Your baptizing and anointing Spirit,
called by my new name,
I rise up with Jesus,
not a marginal pew warmer but a member of Christ,
a prophet,
and king.
Alive to Christ,
let me live out my true identity today.


Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
(Matthew 5:5 NIV)

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
(Titus 3:4-7 NIV)

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
(Romans 8:31-34 NIV)

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!

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Memorials of Faith

Today is Saturday, January 19, 2019.

Day 22,227

24 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.

“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”
T.S. Eliot, British critic, dramatist, and poet, 1888-1965
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is frogpondian. This is “Poe’s word for: an adherent of transcendentalism.” (Oxford English Dictionary) Apparently, Frog Pond was the name of a pond on Boston Common, and Boston was the center of New England Transcendentalism.

I worked a half day, yesterday, which was nice. I got to the doctor’s office about forty-five minutes before my appointment time. So I got in a little reading while waiting, and then a little more as I sat in the exam room. I really like the PA (Physician Assistant) I had yesterday. She was quite personable, which isn’t always the case. I have had experience with PAs in the past, and they weren’t always good. I like this one, and will try to have future appointments with her. Since my visit was on Friday, I anticipate that I will not get lab results until Monday. I’m expecting a “mixed bag” on those. Blood sugar will likely be high. Cholesterol might be okay. I think my weight was pretty close to the same as the last visit, which is, in my opinion, a good thing, because it means at least I didn’t gain, right?

Got my meds refilled, and will be picking them up at Kroger, later today. I signed up for their prescription plan which costs $36 for a year. After checking the prices, my meds will be cheaper than any insurance plan I’ve ever had. In fact, two of my meds, according to their website, will be “free.” Hard to beat that, and that’s for ninety day supplies.

We don’t have much going on this weekend, which is always nice. I need to practice some music and go pick up the groceries and my scripts. C needs to get her car inspected and oil changed. Then we have our worship gathering tomorrow. I’m anticipating a nice day of rest tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t know if I will watch football tomorrow or not. There are two games. The NFC Championship, between the Rams and Saints, will be at 2:05, and the AFC Championship, between the Patriots and Chiefs, will be at 5:40 (all times are CDT). I’m on the fence about who will win, honestly. Both games feature the two best teams in the conference and should both be good games. I’m pretty sure I have talked about football more this year than I have since Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

Today I am grateful:
1. My wife. I just can’t say enough how thankful I am for her. For reasons I have chosen not to mention, she really feels like she has let me down, right now, and that just simply isn’t true.
2. For the nice weather we had earlier this week. Cold today and tomorrow.
3. For the peace of Christ, when I do allow it to rule in my heart. And yesterday, in spite of circumstances, I was actually successful in that.
4. For new creations.
5. For memorials of faith.

If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation;
the old has passed away,
behold the new has come.
All this is from God,
who through Christ reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
Thanks be to God.

(The Book of Common Prayer, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

(From Every Step An Arrival, Eugene H. Peterson)

And then he told the People of Israel, “In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.'”
Joshua 4:21-22 (The Message)

Today’s reading is called, “Memorialize God’s Work in Your Life.”

When Joshua led Israel across/through the Jordan River, “It was a miracle on the same scale as the Red Sea crossing under Moses.” It is said that the Jordan River stopped flowing at Adam, all the way to what was called the Salt Sea. I have to assume that this is what we now call the Dead Sea. This distance is at least 30 kilometers, probably around 20 miles.

After all the people crossed, Joshua instructed twelve men, one from each tribe, to get a stone from the exposed riverbed. When they set up camp at Gilgal, just northeast of Jericho, Joshua set up a monument comprised of each of the twelve stones. This was to be “a memorial altar.” It served no other purpose than to be a reminder.

At some point, their children, and their children’s children, would ask, “Why are these stones here?” The answer would be simple, yet full of meaning. “Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.” But if we keep reading in the passage: “Yes, GOD, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as GOD, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong GOD’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold GOD in solemn reverence always.” (vv. 23-24, The Message)

“The existence of that altar, the architecture of that place of worship, contained a meaning that was to remain central to the people of Israel from that time down to our own.”

Do you have memorials of your faith? Do you have “symbols of God’s redemption that you hold on to?” I have one.

Several decades ago, during a particularly dark time in my life, I spent a week (maybe two, I can’t remember) out in East Texas. Half of the time with my Grandmother and Granddaddy and the other half with my Grandmama. They lived about five to ten miles apart. One afternoon, while outside at Grandmother and Granddaddy’s place, I was in front of their house, where there used to be a swing on which we played, as children.

I was struggling in my faith at the time. I desperately and honestly asked God, out loud, “Am I really Your child?”

I want to tell you that what I experienced that day will never be forgotten. It was like our Father reached down and hugged me. To this day, I get goosebumps, even as I’m typing this. It was the single most powerful expression of God’s love that I have ever felt.

I looked down on the ground and found a single Blue Jay feather. I picked it up. I still have it. It’s in a box in the garage. I know exactly where it is. I wanted to post a picture of it here, but I can’t get to the box, today. But here is a stock photo that resembles it.

That is a memorial to God’s love in my life. When I see that feather, when I even think about that feather, I am reminded of the time that God answered my question with a definitive YES!

I highly recommend doing something similar for times in your life when God acts or answers or expresses His presence to you.

Father, I still give You thanks for that day when You showed me how much You love me. I thank You that that day is still fresh in my mind and heart, as if it happened yesterday. I also praise You for how far You have brought me since that day, and how mightily You have worked in my life since that day. You are great, O God! And I will worship and praise You as long as I have breath, and then forever more in eternity!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Train me, GOD, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. (Psalm 86:11, The Message)

Soli Deo Gloria!


Today is FRIDAY, October 26, 2018.

Day 22,142

Nineteen days until Fallout 76!!

“Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?”
T. S. Eliot, American poet, 1888-1965

The word of the day is timorous, “full of fear; fearful.” Also, “subject to fear; timid,” or, “characterized by or indicating fear.”

We’ve made it to another Friday. We have multiple things going on tonight.

The first is that I will likely have to work late. That’s pretty much a given, most Fridays, to the point that we are pleasantly surprised if we get finished by 4:30.

The second is the Boo Bash tonight at the YMCA where our church meets. C is participating, but, at best, I will just be able to drop by on my way home, if I get off work in time.

Last, but most importantly, the World Series continues tonight, in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers host the Red Sox. The game begins at 7:09, Central Time. Rick Porcello will take the mound for the Red Sox, while the Dodgers have a pitcher named Buehler. Seriously??

“Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?”

I guess we can hope that tonight is “Buehler’s night off.”

Okay. Sorry.

Anyway, the Sox lead the series 2-0.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

“Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13)

(From Power in Prayer, Andrew Murray)
Be Strong and of Good Courage

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

Brother Murray points out verse 13, that says, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (NKJV). The Psalmist admits that, had he not had faith in God, he would have given up. But, in that faith, he encourages us to do one thing: “Wait for the LORD.”

We wait for deliverance from our enemies, “in whose presence we feel powerless.” We plead for blessings, both seen and unseen, physical and spiritual, many times impossible for men. “Our heart may well faint and fail.” Another verse says “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever” (Psalm 73:26) In spite of our intimate connection with God, He seems hidden, at times.

We have this habit of “evaluating God and His work in us by what we feel. This causes us to be discouraged because we don’t feel a “special blessing.” So when we are waiting on God, we must do so “in the spirit of hope. God in His glory, His power, and His love longs to bless you.”

The root of blessedness in this waiting is “the fact that He is full of goodness, power, life, and joy.” Dallas Willard claims that God is the most joyful being in the universe. He certainly is love. “That is the one and only all-sufficient reason for our expectation.”

So no matter how week I feel (no matter what my feelings may tell me), I must wait in His presence.

Father, teach me to wait in joyful expectation as I walk through my life in Your Kingdom.
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.

The Lord Is Near

Today is Tuesday, September 26, 2017. Day 21,747. Sixteen days until our 32nd anniversary!

T.S. Eliot, who was born on this date in 1888 (died 1965), said, “Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.”

Word of the Day

Sobersides ~ “a humorless or habitually serious person.”

Today is Batman Day. I know some people who will be thrilled at this! Nanananana BATMAN!!

Not much going on, around here. Oh, except that we are having a new dryer delivered this evening, because our thirteen year old dryer decided to quit working.

Let’s see. After starting out ahead 2-0, the Rangers gave up eight runs in the fourth inning, and lost 11-2. The Twins didn’t play last night, so the agony will be prolonged yet another day. The Rangers’ elimination number is now one. One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do . . .

The Red Sox lost to the Boo Jays, and the Yankees won. The Red Sox lead in the AL East is four games. With six games left, the magic number is three.

No one has clinched anything in the NL Central division.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Psalm 31:23
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. 
Psalm 119:147
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
Psalm 118:28
I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
Psalm 119:113
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 
And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 
And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:31-35
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. 
The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

Psalm 145:18-20

Father, as I walk through this day, may I truly hope in your words. I have risen before dawn, and I have cried out for your help. “You are my God, and i will give thanks to you.” You are my God, and I will praise you. Let my life, lived in this day, be a life of praise before you. Help me to continue my journey in living without anger. May I truly call on you in truth.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

God Likes Me

Good morning (it’s 1100am as I begin this). It is Saturday, January 4, 2014. 42 days until pitchers and catchers report. 86 days until Opening Day.

Today is “Hypnotism Day.” You are getting sleepy. Your eyes are getting heavy. But it’s probably out of boredom from reading my blog, so never mind.

Yesterday, the news came out that Phil Everly, of The Everly Brothers has died at the age of 74. That’s a big loss to the music world. I don’t have a lot of remembrances of their music, but I do remember a number of their songs. Like this song that was, at its time, actually very scandalous.

We stayed up into 1230am last night, watching more Parenthood on Hulu Plus, and we now have only one more episode to watch before being caught up to the current week’s episode. I still don’t like Jasmine. And right now, I’m really, really worried about Julia and Joel. Things are not looking good for them. Wait. This sounds like a soap opera, doesn’t it? Gah!!

I didn’t think I was going to play tonight, at church, but the guitar player who was going to play has had the flu, so I will be playing keys, after all. Fortunately, I have played all the songs we are doing tonight.

We probably won’t do much tomorrow. The temperature is supposed to range between 28 and 38. Sounds like a hot chocolate kid of day.

On this date in Jacob Grimm, the elder of the two Grimm brothers, Hanau, Germany. He and his younger brother collected such tales as “Hansel and Gretel,” “Snow White,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Sleeping Beauty.” They put these stories together by listening to oral storytellers and trying to reproduce them as best they could.

Also on this date, 180 years later, the poet T.S. Eliot passed away. He died in London, at the age of 76, in 1965. The Waste Land, published in 1922, “is considered the single most influential work of poetry in the twentieth century.” (History.com)

Today’s birthdays, besides Jacob Grimm, are Louis Braille, developed the Braille reading system, 1809, James Bond, ornithologist, 1900, Dyan Cannon, actress, 1937, Matt Frewer, actor (Max Headroom), 1958, Michael Stipe, vocalist (REM), 1960, and Julia Ormond, actress, 1965.

Michael Stipe was the lead vocalist for REM. There is a strong possibility that he actually lived in Mineral Wells, TX for a period in his life, as his father was in the Army. He mentions a man named Mr. Pemberton and his record store in Texas in a Rolling Stone interview. Here is a song from what I still consider to be their best album, Life’s Rich Pageant. The song is “Cuyahoga.”


Psalm 4:1, 3-4, 7-8 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 34:3-8 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:17-19 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Today, in Reflections for Ragamuffins, the reading is called “Being Cherished.” Brennan Manning tells the story of Edward Farrell, a priest from Detroit, who went on a summer vacation to Ireland. He had an uncle there who was about to celebrate his eightieth birthday. On the day of his uncle’s birthday, Ed and his uncle got up to take a walk along the shores of Lake Killarney. As they stopped to watch the sunrise, they simply stood, side by side, for about twenty minutes. As they began walking again, Ed noticed a broad smile on his uncle’s face. “Uncle Seamus,” he said, “you look very happy.” “I am,” his uncle replied. “How come?” Ed asked. His uncle reply was, “The Father of Jesus is very fond of me.”

If I were to ask you if you truly believe that God likes you, what would would you say? Notice I did not say “loves.” That’s the theological answer. I think most of us would have no trouble believing that God loves us, because “the Bible tells me so.” But do you believe he likes you? Think about Uncle Seamus’s statement, “The Father of Jesus is very fond of me.” This knowledge, this belief, would bring “a relaxedness, a serenity, and a compassionate attitude toward yourself that is a reflection of God’s own tenderness.” In Isaiah 49:15, God says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” And in Joshua 1:5, God told Joshua, No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

We are truly cherished by God. More than just love, he is very fond of us. God likes us!

Oh, my Father, engrave on my heart the thought that you cherish me, that you like me. I’ve known all my life that you love me. But to know that you like me and desire to be my friend, that is knowledge that, as the psalmist said, is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. I’m not sure what to do with this thought. I confess, it most definitely brings tears of joy to my eyes. It also gives me hope for the future. It inspires me to think with compassion, not only about myself, but about others, too, for if you like me, then you also like all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, I need to show more compassion to all of them. Lately, I’ve sensed a lack of compassion in me, Father. I pray for that to be fixed. Soften my heart. Break it open and let your love pour out. Teach me your way. May your word be that light to my path as I walk each day.

I pray for this evening. We have many people out for one reason or another, with some being ill. I pray for your healing hand on those who are ill, and I pray for those of us who make it to our worship service. I pray for encouragement for Jacob, as he plans to share his vision for 2014 tonight. Let him not be discouraged by small numbers. I also pray for our worship leader, who is in a bit of a bind right now, as it appears our drummer has bailed for some reason. Give him wisdom, Lord, to know how to proceed tonight. May we all be supportive and encouraging to him.

I pray for Summer and her family, as her grandpa is not long for this world, or so the reports would have us believe. Give them peace and comfort in this circumstance, and may the time they have left with him be so very sweet.

Your grace is sufficient.

Ponder the thought that God likes you for a while today. How does that make you feel?

Grace and peace, friends.

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Good morning. It is Sunday morning, November (did no one catch that I said “October” yesterday??) 4, 2012. Did you remember to set your clocks back one hour? We did, but apparently our cats did not, because at 6am, they were bugging me to get up and feed them. They thought it was 7am. For the record, I’m glad to be back off of DST. I don’t like it at all.
I cold talk about today being “National Candy Day,” but I think the holiday people should have made October 31 “National Candy Day.” It makes sense, right? So, instead, I will mention that today is “King Tut Day.” We could be talking about the Egyptian king who took the throne at 9 years old. We might be talking about the nefarious villain and rival of Batman.

Or…we could be referring to this.

You can take your pick.

On this date in 1429, Joan of Arc liberated Saint-Pierre-le-Moutier.
On this date in 1501, Catherine of Aragon met Arthur Tudor, whom she would later marry. She would eventually become Henry VIII’s first wife.
On this date in 1677, William and Mary got married.
On this date in 1783, Mozart’s 36th symphony was performed for the first time in Linz, Austria.
On this date in 1842, Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married.
On this date in 1922, Howard Carter, British archaeologist, discovered the entrance to…wait for it…King Tut’s tomb! (He was actually a Pharaoh, not technically “king.”)
On this date in 1924, Nellie Taylor Ross was elected governor of Wyoming. She was the first female governor in the U.S.
On this date in 1948, T.S. Eliot received the Nobel Prize for literature.
On this date in 1952, the U.S. NSA was established. The first rule of the NSA is there is no NSA.
On this date in 1955, the rebuilt Vienna Opera House opened with Beethoven’s Fidelio. The Opera House was completely destroyed in WWII.
On this date in 1970, a 13-year-old girl named Genie was found in Los Angeles, after having been locked in her bedroom for most of her life.
On this date in 1978, Anne Murray had a #1 pop hit with “You Needed Me.”
On this date in 2008, Barak Obama became the first African-American to be elected to the office of President of the United States.

Today’s birthdays include Augustus Montague Toplady (author of the hymn “Rock of Ages”), 1740, Will Rogers, 1879, Walter Cronkite, 1916, Art Carney, 1918, Freddy Heineken (yes, THAT Heineken), 1923, Tito Francona (baseball player and father of the beloved Red Sox manager, Terry Francona), 1933, Loretta Swit (“Hot Lips”), 1937, Delbert McClinton (blues singer-songwriter), 1940, Laura Bush, 1946, Markie Post (Night Court), 1950, Carlos Baerga (baseball player), 1968, Matthew McConaughey, 1969.

Wow. Today was a busy day in history.

Yesterday was a great day! The weather was beautiful, and Christi and I got a few things accomplished, and had a great time together. We even went to the mall for a while, where we bought some calendars, and I got a new screen protector for my iPhone. When you get them at the little kiosks in the mall, they’re only $9.99, not $25 like they are at Best Buy and the Apple stores. I think, when you pay $300+ for a phone, they should give you screen protectors. It’s like floor mats in new cars. Don’t even get me started! We also put this on the back of my car.

You may remember a few months ago, when I named my car “Serenity,” because it was “Name Your Car Day.” Oh, and the dryer is fixed. It cost us about $155. There was a bad “limiter” or something like that. Still cheaper than buying a new dryer.

This morning, we don’t have to work tech at the church, so we will be attending the 1030 Worship Celebration. It’s nice to have some free time on Sunday morning.

Father, I pray for a vision of you this morning. I pray for vision for life, to keep me going, and to teach me how to follow Jesus.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 136. The theme of this psalm is “his steadfast love endures forever.” It is a unique psalm, in that the same phrase is repeated in every verse. It is pretty obvious that the psalm was written to be read or sung responsively, where the leader or priest would read the first part of the verse, and the people would respond with “for his steadfast love endures forever.” Since I grew up in a traditional Southern Baptist church, I am very familiar with what we called “responsive readings” that were all in the very back of the hymnal. The pastor would read the part in light print, and the rest of us would read the part in bold print. They looked like this:

Anyway, Psalm 136 begins like so:
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;
4 to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;
5 to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;
7 to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;
8 the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;
9 the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;

It continues on, remembering the exodus from Egypt and other historical events in the life of Israel. It closes, as it opens, with thanksgiving.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Our lives should reflect the attitude of this psalm. We should, first of all, be constantly giving thanks to him, for his steadfast love does, indeed, endure forever. We should also remind ourselves, both individually and corporately, of the wonderful acts that the Lord has done on our behalf, throughout our lives.

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “The Authority of Reality.” The scripture reference is James 4:8, which says, Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Chambers speaks of the importance of acting on the truth of God when it is brought into our lives. When we hear truth proclaimed, and fail to act, we are left exactly the same as we were before. However, when we do act on it, we will never be the same again. “Immediately I precipitate myself over into an act, that second I live; all the rest is existence. the moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will.”

It is noted that this “action” is not always necessarily physical. Sometimes it is simply in the will. But whether physical or spiritual, we know that in that moment, that second that we act on the truth, “the supernatural rush of God invades [us] instantly.” The power of the flesh is neutralized, “not by your act, but because your act has linked you on to God and His redemptive power.”

Father, as I think on this reading and the psalm that I read before it, I reflect on my life. I can recall, quite vividly, times when I failed to act and remained unchanged, forfeiting who knows what in my walk with you. At the same time, I also know that you are never surprised by anything that we do or fail to do, for you know us inside out. Before a word is on our lips, you know it. Before a thought comes into my brain, you know it (and may have even put it there). I am so thankful for your activity in my life over the years. I am thankful for your steadfast love that endures forever! Were it not for this steadfast love and your tireless persistence, I would not be where I am today. Six months ago, I would not have thought that I would be on the verge of co-leading a prayer ministry at a church. I would not have thought that I would be thinking so much about discipleship and following you. At the beginning of this year, my walk with you was marginal. Today, although, far from perfect, I find that I am walking closer to you, seeking your face, and seeking to follow Jesus. I pray for more thankfulness in my daily walk (and not just because it’s November), and I pray for more determination to follow Christ, be a disciple, and teach others to do the same. I pray for your “supernatural rush” of power to invade me when I act on the truth that you send me. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me, making me sensitive and aware of those moments when action of some kind is required.

I pray for this day. I lift up our Worship Celebrations. May we be able to worship you without distraction, without hindrance this morning. I pray that rehearsal, going on right now, is going well, and that the tech is working properly. I pray for they people in the worship band this morning, that you would fill them with your Spirit as they lead us into intimate fellowship with you. I pray that the words Joel will speak to us this morning will be your words, straight from your Spirit. Open our ears to hear what you have to say to us today, and then give us the inspiration to act on whatever you tell us.

I continue to pray for the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Power is gradually being restored, and schools are said to be opening back up tomorrow, but there is still much work to be done. I pray for peace and hope for people who have been devastated. I pray for lives that have been shattered and disrupted. I pray for your Church to rise up and provide relief and the hope that, even in the face of such a terrible disaster, your grace and mercy are still everlasting.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the day as I find ways to remember that the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.

Grace and peace, friends.

Merry Christmas!

It’s Wednesday, September 26, 2012. Today is “Johnny Appleseed Day.” As noted yesterday, “Yom Kippur” began at sundown yesterday and goes through nightfall tonight. What’s the difference between “sundown” and “nightfall?” Anyway, I believe that there is some significance to Yom Kippur that is not widely held. You see, I believe that there is a strong possibility that Jesus was born on Yom Kippur. I did not come up with this theory, I heard it somewhere else, not even sure I can remember where or when. Most people readily accept the probability that Jesus was not born anywhere close to December 25. It’s a widely known fact that there was a festival on that day that celebrated the return of the sun after the shortest day of the year. Much speculation (and that’s really all we can do) has placed his birth in late September/early October. Yom Kippur is one of those holidays that comes on a different day each year, like Easter. In late September/early October. How cool would it be if Jesus, the one who provided atonement for mankind, was born on the “Day of Atonement?” For a further bonus, if you count backwards from Yom Kippur, 40 weeks, the human gestation period, in the case of this year, you get December 21. So, it’s entirely possible, that by celebrating on December 25, we just might be celebrating the “immaculate conception.” Hmmm? Just food for thought on this Wednesday morning.

On this date in 1580, Francis Drake became the first British navigator to circumnavigate the earth.
On this date in 1957, West Side Story, composed by Leonard Bernstein, opened on Broadway.
On this date in 1969, The Brady Bunch premiered. It was the story of a lovely lady who was living with three very lovely girls…
On this date in 1888, T.S. Eliot was born.
On this date in 2008, Paul Newman died. I completely forgot that he was dead. Wow.
On this date in 1820, Daniel Boone died. I did not forget that he was dead.
And on this date in 1971, Jim Palmer won his 20th game of the season, pitching for the Baltimore Orioles (who, by the way, are in the running for the American League east division championship this year). This made the 1971 Orioles the first team since the 1920 White Sox to have four 20 game winners.

Not much to report from yesterday. It was a pretty normal day. Other than Christi continues to hurt pretty badly. Last night, her hip was hurting so bad she could hardly walk. It’s better this morning, she says. We think it may have something to do with the way she is sitting at work. She pretty much stays in the same meeting room all day, so there’s not much movement.

Our lifehouse meeting last night was good. We talked for a bit on how we feel God has worked in our lives over the past year. It’s kind of a yearly thing, as we just started our meetings back up a couple weeks ago. Next week we’re off, then we start looking at a DVD series by Francis Chan.

The Rangers lost to the A’s last night in the 10th inning. They are back to only 4 games ahead of the A’s with 8 games remaining. The Angels are only 2 games behind the A’s. In the National League, the Atlanta Braves clinched at least a wild card spot, which makes four teams in the NL that have clinched playoff spots. As of today, there are still NO teams in the AL that have clinched a spot. I can’t stand this. Talk about an exciting finish. So, technically, there’s still a chance that the Evil Empire might not even make the playoffs. I can dream, right?

Father, I pray that you will show me a glimpse of you this morning as I look into your word and meditate on your precepts.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 118. This is a Psalm of thanksgiving.

1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

When we recognize that the Lord is on our side (not the side of any “cause,” mind you, but he is for the redeemed), we have nothing to fear.
5 Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.
6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
7 The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

We see that the Lord is more trustworthy than men.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the LORD exalts, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”

Included in this psalm is the verse Jesus quoted about being the cornerstone, as well as a verse that is quoted by any number of preachers almost every Sunday morning.
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Also included in this psalm is the cry of the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!

And it closes out the same way it opens.
29 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 118 made me think of this old Michael W Smith song.

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “The Unblameable Attitude.” The verse is Matthew 5:23, which says, So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you… In the middle of these readings that have the word “Go” in them, we get this one. This verse was also included in the reading from two days ago.

What is being spoken of here is sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. We are not being told to rack our brains before giving our offering, to see if there’s anything in our memory that must be taken care of. If I’m about to give my offering, whatever it may be, and the Spirit reminds me about some unfinished business with a brother, then I need to be sensitive to that reminder and go take care of it.

Notice that Jesus doesn’t mention the other person. “You go.” Once again, we get to the point about our “rights.” “The stamp of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.” Also note that the idea is that my brother has something against me, not the other way around. In other words…if I have offended a brother and not made reconciliation, I must make an attempt to rectify this before making my offering. It doesn’t have to be a successful attempt, although, if he is truly a brother, he must accept my efforts to make things right.

The chain of obedience is clear. I’m making a sacrificial offering; the Spirit reminds me; I go and humbly make reconciliation; I return to make my “glad, simple, unhindered, offering” of my gift to God. Attitude is everything in this. I cannot afford to be begrudging in this. If God leads me in this way, I must go humbly and willingly, with no complaint. This is “The Unblameable Attitude.”

Father, as I get ready to head into this day, I first thank you that your steadfast love endures forever. I praise you that you are on the side of the redeemed. Not MY side. No. And truly, you are on YOUR side. But you do great wonders for the redeemed, for which Christ has died. As I ponder the fact that there is truly nothing man can do to me that will permanently harm me, I praise your name. I will not fear. That is a bold statement, considering that I probably will, at some point, fear. But it is a truth that, as one of your redeemed, there is truly nothing that should cause me to fear. I will take refuge in you, Lord. You are my strength and my song and you are my salvation.

May I have the “unblameable attitude” spoken of in today’s reading. If you remind me, by your Spirit, that there is someone who has something against me, give me the courage to take care of it. Don’t let me be distracted, however, by trying to drum up old memories of relationships from the past. Simply let me be sensitive to the promptings of your Spirit.

I pray for this day. I continue to pray for relief for Christi from her pain. i pray that her day will go smoothly, and that there will be no stress at her work place today. I pray that her hip will continue to feel better today. I also continue praying that the injection tomorrow will accomplish what it is supposed to. I pray for my work day today. May our work go smoothly and without issue today. Reveal something of yourself to all of us during this day. May we stay focused and in an attitude of prayer as we work today. I also pray that Stephanie will have a good day today. Draw her attention to you and to your word during this day.

Give me faith and focus as I go into my private prayer time. May you hear my cry today as I call out to you.

Your grace is sufficient.

Today’s topic is not an easy one. It requires faithfulness and humility. It requires that we surrender our rights. But a true saint can do this, with the help of God’s Spirit.

Grace and peace, friends. Oh…and “Merry Christmas!” 🙂