Hating My Life in this World

Today is Wednesday, September 7, 2022, in the 23rd week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ dwell within you, today!

Day 23,554

Yesterday’s temperature reached 93, at around 3:00 PM, which is a tad higher than expected. It was still fairly warm when we left the library, shortly after 8:00 PM, but not so hard to breathe. We did not get any rain, yesterday. Today’s high is also expected to be 93. The record high for today’s date was in 2012, at 103. It is still showing that we got .88 inch of rain over the last 72 hours.

I’m off work today, as I am every other Wednesday. I will work tomorrow, 8 hours in the computer center, but I will also work 8 hours in the computer center on Friday, this week, as my schedule change is effective on Friday. Going forward, I will not be working Thursdays anymore (after tomorrow).

I have an appointment at a dermatologist, this afternoon, to check on getting a couple of cysts removed from my head. They are right on top of my head, and there is no hair there, so they are quite obvious. So I’m going to try to get them removed. It shouldn’t be an issue, as I have had this done in the past. The only question is if one of them is too large for them to do it, in which case, they will likely refer me to a plastic surgeon, which has also happened one time in the past, when I had a very large cyst right at the top of my forehead.

For dinner, tonight, I am planning to make Beef Enchilada Pasta Skillet, from my favorite cooking website, Emily Bites.

The Texas Rangers broke their losing streak, last night, winning a rare one-run game against the Astros, 4-3. This makes them 59-76 for the season, but they remain in fourth place in the AL West, a half game behind the Angels. They are eliminated from any shot at the division, but still have a slim (very slim) chance at a Wild Card spot. Their WCE# is 12, with 27 games remaining in the season.

The Red Sox fell further behind by losing to the Rays 8-4. They are now 67-70 for the season, and, even though they are 15 games out of first place, are, miraculously, not mathematically eliminated. Their E# is 12. They are nine games out of a Wild Card spot, and their WCE# is 18. They have 25 games left.

There is now a tie for the lead in the NL East division, between Atlanta and the Mets. No one has clinched a division or playoff berth, just yet.

The Dodgers won, making their MLB leading record 93-42. With 27 games remaining, they still have a slim, but unlikely chance, to beat the win record. The Nationals lost, keeping them at the bottom with 48-88. To make matters worse for them, the Pirates won. But the A’s lost, and are now only two games ahead of the Nats. At this point, being the worst is anyone’s game. The Dodgers, of course, are not guaranteed to wind up the best, but the next team is 6.5 games behind them.

The Braves have the best current win streak (which is why they are now tied for first place), at six straight games. The Marlins now have the longest losing streak, at eight games. The Dodgers improved their leading run differential to +294, and the Pirates and Nationals are now tied for the worst, with -203. The Rangers have -11, and the Red Sox are down to -45.

My hopes of having a team in the playoffs grow slimmer with each passing day. As previously mentioned, I’m pulling for the Orioles to get one of those Wild Card spots away from either Toronto or Tampa. I’m also pulling for Cleveland, who is currently leading the AL Central. Why Cleveland? Because Terry Francona, that’s why Cleveland! I really, really wish Texas could lure him away from Cleveland.


Lord our God, remind us again and again of what you have done in our hearts and lives to make us certain of the resurrection. Help us to live in this certainty and to hold fast to everything good and great which you bring into our lives. Grant us the assurance that we are gaining ground in the battle for the redemption of those who are still in darkness and in the shadow of death. May we find joy in what we have here and now. Give us patience in our struggles. Give us hope for all that has gone wrong, because even what is in darkness is still in your hands. In the end everything must be brought to the light so that all humankind may glorify your great name. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
(1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. for all things good and great that God brings into our lives
  2. that, in spite of what we might see around us, God is working His plan, and it will come to pass
  3. for the inheritance that is kept for us in heaven
  4. for memories
  5. that Jesus, because of His sacrifice, and He did not hold onto His life in this world, has made intercession for sinners

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
(John 12:25-26 ESV)

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
 yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 
I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. 
Your way, O God, is holy. 
What god is great like our God? 
You are the God who works wonders; 
you have made known your might among the peoples.
(Psalms 77:11-14 ESV)

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
(Philippians 1:3 ESV)

The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
(Proverbs 10:7 ESV)

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
(Isaiah 53:12 ESV)

“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life,” said Jesus. But He also said that we are to love our neighbor as ourself. How do I do that if I’m supposed to hate my life?

I believe there is a difference between “hating” my “life in this world,” and hating myself. We are never told to hate ourselves. The Greek word that is translated “life” in John 12:25 is psuche or psyche, which can also be translated as “breath” or “spirit.”

So this is not talking about wishing we would die, that our physical life would cease to be. Rather, it is speaking of the way in which we engage in this life, in this world. I believe it is a call to be somewhat detached from this life, almost aloof. Not to be careless, mind you, or irresponsible, because being careless and irresponsible can have negative impact on other people.

For a long time, now, I have had this mindset of, and this is also biblical, what can man do to me? It’s kind of like saying, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Certainly, there are things in this life that I enjoy. I like reading my books; I like playing my games; I like listening to and playing music. But I am less and less attached to those things (you might not know that if you see how much time I spend in front of the PS4), as I long more and more for Home.

And this longing for Home is not a wish to die, either. I have no interest in dying. There are people around me with whom I enjoy spending time. There are people around me who depend on me for things. I don’t desire to leave them just yet.

But I have less and less regard for my “life in this world.”

Jesus, according to that passage in Isaiah 53, had little regard for His life in this world. He “poured out His soul to death.” In doing so, He “bore the sin of many,” and made intercession for all sinners.

That word “intercession” gets thrown around a lot, usually in regard to prayer. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray. However, that is not the meaning of “intercession” in Isaiah 53:12.

“Intercede,” simply means, “intervene on behalf of another.” That can take many forms. In Isaiah 53:12, Jesus intervened on our behalf by giving up His life.

And in Philippians 2, we see a similar message about Jesus.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
(Philippians 2:8 ESV)

Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who “hated” His “life in this world.” He did not hate Himself. But He did not love His life to the point of trying to preserve it. And look at the results.

One result is the salvation of sinners. But another result is this:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11 ESV)

The one who wished to exalt himself in this life has all the reward he is going to get. If someone does acts of charity simply to be recognized by men, that will be the extent of his reward.

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”
(Matthew 6:2 ESV)

That is an example of loving a life in this world.

Jesus’s “power in intercession was established by His sacrifice; intercession claims what the sacrifice has already won.” (Andrew Murray)

So if we feel like we don’t have the power to pray or don’t know how, perhaps we need to examine how much we love our lives in this world. How much do we complain about things that don’t go our way? I struggle so much with this, personally. The more I understand these truths, the less that is an issue, but it still an issue. I’m dealing with something along those lines, right now, but God is helping me to understand; He is helping me to “hate” my “life in this world.”

I don’t hate myself, and I won’t do that. No worries there. I mean, sure, sometimes I don’t like myself very much, especially when I get unrealistically angry over something petty. But in general, I try to look at myself the way God looks at me (as best as I can tell), which is through the perspective of Jesus Christ, who died for me and interceded for my sin and placed His righteousness upon me.

Father, I praise You for Jesus Christ, Your Son, who has interceded for all sinners by not loving His life and by being obedient to the point of death. I acknowledge that You have exalted Him, because of this, and have given Him the name that is above every name. I humbly and willingly bow to His name and confess with my tongue (and my fingertips) that Jesus is Lord!

I praise You for His intercession on our behalf, and for the righteousness that He has placed upon us. I have no righteousness of my own, no inherent goodness. I do not hate myself, but, according to Your Word, have a healthy hatred of my life in this world, that I might, then, keep it for eternal life in Your presence, after the resurrection.

Help me to do this more and more; help me to not love my life in this world, to set aside my desires that are not in line with Your desires. Help me to not express anger over petty things, things that do not matter, things that are only “footstool” problems. Help me to learn these things and not just repeat the same things over and over.

I am grateful for all the saints, Father, and the relationships that we have with them. I am thankful for the ones who went before us, that we might learn from them. And I am thankful for the ones that will come after us, and hope that we might do something of value that they would learn from us.

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

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.


Today is Sunday, April 22, 2018. Day 21,955. Fourth Sunday of Easter.

Six days until our next Night of Worship.

Terry Francona turns 59 today. He said, “As a manager, the more consistent you are, the better off you are. It’s easy to be up when things go well. When things don’t go well, the players will follow your lead. So you have to be consistent and upbeat, which takes some work sometimes.” BrainyQuote

The word for today is traduce, a verb which means, “to expose to shame or blame by means of falsehood and misrepresentation.”

We had a nice day, yesterday, of not doing a whole lot. C went to the library and picked up some lunch while she was out. Then I went and picked up our Kroger Click List at around 3:30 PM. C painted some during the afternoon, while I played video games and learned something new about my new keyboard, getting it set up for this morning’s worship gathering.

The Red Sox lost their third game of the season, last night. And, I suppose, if you’re going to lose, you might as well do it in premier fashion! They only lost 3-0, but not only did they get shut out, they also got no-hit! And I watched every painful moment of it! Sean Manaea allowed only two base runners the entire game, one walk, and one on an error. The error was a possible questionable call by the scorekeepers, but you gotta figure the home town scorekeepers are going to protect the no-hitter if they can. There was also a close call at first base when Andrew Benintendi skirted around a tag to make to first base. He was initially called safe, but Oakland manager questioned the call, and the umpires gathered to discuss it. There was no instant replay review, but they decided that Benintendi had, in fact, left the base path to avoid the tag. The replays showed that they were right. But I wonder, had it not been a no-hitter, if that would have even come up.

At any rate, the Sox remain the best team in baseball by three games, with a record of 17-3. They finish the series with Oakland, this afternoon at 3:05PM CDT.

The Rangers gave up five runs in the seventh inning to lose their third consecutive game. They lost to the Mariners, 9-7.

We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. We worship with The Exchange Church, which meets at 9100 N Beach Street in Fort Worth, TX. The gathering begins at 10:15 AM.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

“O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people:
Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who
calleth us each by name, and follow where he leads;
who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one
God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
The Book of Common Prayer

Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. 
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake! 
  Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes! 
Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die! 
Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord! 
But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise

Psalm 79:8-13

I wonder, frequently, why God allows “the nations” to say, “Where is their God?” But I have the same faith as the writer of this Psalm. I, as one of the sheep of his pasture, will give thanks to him forever.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:29-31
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Colossians 3:12-13

In all of these verses there is a common thread: that of showing kindness and hospitality to others. Kindness, compassion, forgiveness, fellowship, love, humility, meekness, and patience are to be shown toward all people, but most especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should not, as Edward Grinnan puts it, in Daily Guideposts, “simply tunnel through life,” doing little or nothing for those who are hurting and needy. By God’s grace, we need to pay attention to situations around us, and be ready to serve in any way we can.

Father, you are only just beginning to get me out of my shell of isolation in my life. I have spent far too much of my life with the kind of tunnel vision that Edward describes in his prayer. But that is changing. And I pray that it continues to change, even though I am oh, so comfortable in that shell, like a turtle. Give me compassion and kindness and love toward other people, such that they have never seen before. Help me to even surprise people with love.
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.

Friends of God

And, bang, it’s Monday again. Good morning. It’s Monday, April 22, 2013. Christi is home. Well, technically, she’s gone again, because she just left for work. But she has returned from her weekend excursion to Broken Bow, Oklahoma. She had a good time, and the place is, based on the pictures I’ve seen, quite beautiful and remote. It might be worth our effort to look into a trip up there sometime.

We had a good time of worship yesterday, and our pastor threw a few “audibles” into the mix. We were finishing up the music set before the message, when he decided to have some of the leaders come up to the area in front of the stage, to be available for prayer, if anyone needed prayer. He whispered something to our worship leader, who, in turn went over to the bass player and then to me. It seems we were going to sing “Set A Fire,” a song which we have done recently. So we sang “Set A Fire” for a few minutes, after which the pastor whispered something else to the worship leader, who, in turn, went to the bass player and then to me. Upon seeing the bass player’s expression, I began to be afraid. Sure enough, the leader came over and said, “Always.” I’m not sure I’ve played “Always” since I’ve been playing in the worship band. That’s not really an issue, as most contemporary worship songs only have three or four chords in them. It’s just a matter of which three or four chords, and in what order! Plus, I didn’t have music for that song in my binder. I did have “Set A Fire,” because I long ago began compiling music for all of the songs that we have sung since I’ve been playing. But just before going into full panic mode, I remembered . . . Hey! I have “Planning Center” on my iPhone! As the song was starting, I was hurriedly tapping away on my iPhone, and was able to bring up the chart for “Always,” and even got it big enough to read! 😀 So it was all good, and we got through it, giving high fives all around when we were back in the hall behind the stage. Here’s a clip of “Always.” It’s a good song.

Hmm . . . apparently, I messed up yesterday. It seems that today is Girl Scout Leader Day. I could swear the date next to that was 21 yesterday. But today is also National Jelly Bean Day. Sorry, girls. Jelly beans trumps Girl Scouts. Besides, I talked about Girl Scouts yesterday. So today, it’s jelly beans! Love me some jelly beans. Especially those black ones! And every now and then there are these kind of reddish-brown ones that have a spicy cinnamony flavor to them. No orange ones, please. You can have my orange ones.

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
It is on this date in 1787 that “Empress Catherine the Great of Russia sailed down the Dnieper from Kiev with a fleet of seven imperial galleys and over 80 other boats on one of the most astonishing royal outings in history.’ Her former lover and current Chief Minister Grigory Potemkin was leading this entourage, as they were traveling to inspect villages that he had established along the river, and in the Crimea. There was also a secondary motive, that being to meet with Holy Roman Emperor Josef II, as they planned to destroy Turkey and dismember Poland. The fleet was astonishing, with 3000 oarsmen and an orchestra of 120 musicians. Peasants gathered along the river to watch the procession, and fireworks occurred frequently. Unfortunately for Potemkin, a “disgruntled Saxon diplomat named Georg von Helbig, who had not been invited on the trip,” began a rumor that all of the villages along with way were merely pasteboard fronts, and that the peasants gathered along the river were all one group, who were transported from village to village. Other rivals of Potemkin caught on and helped spread these rumors. They sort of “went viral.” “Sadly for Potemkin–one of Russia’s greatest ministers–today it is for the mythical Potemkin villages that he is best remembered.”

Today’s birthday is Terry Francona, born on this date in 1959. Francona was, perhaps, one of the most loved managers of the Boston Red Sox, leading them to two World Series championships the decade between 2001-2010. He “retired” after 2011, spent a year as an announcer for ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball, but returned to managing this year, with the Cleveland Indians. He has never lost a World Series game. He was also bench coach for the Texas Rangers in 2002.

Honorable mentions go to Eddie Albert, 1906, Jack Nicholson, 1937, Larry Groce, 1948, Peter Frampton, 1950, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, 1966, Sheryl Lee, 1967.


Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD! Psalm 31:24
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me. Psalm 31:3
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6

Father, you truly are my rock and fortress. May I take shelter in you today, and, as I ready your words this morning, may I find truth to live by and comfort for my weary soul.

Today’s reading from Tabletalk Magazine comes from Isaiah 53:4-9, focusing on verse 7.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

Through the cross, Jesus conquered all of God’s enemies, which includes everyone ever born. You may not think yourself an “enemy” of God, but scripture says that all of us were, at one time, enemies of God, for we are born that way. The focus here, however, is not on the fact that we are God’s enemies, but, rather, on the fact that, through the cross, God poured out his wrath on Christ, wrath that should have been poured out on us, the sinners. “The Messiah triumphed over the Lord’s enemies in His death.” He was “pierced for our transgressions;” “crushed for our iniquities;” “stricken, smitten . . . and afflicted.” This passage is chock full of “atonement language,” climaxing in verse 6, which says, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

This is not something that merely makes us feel better about ourselves. This is a miraculous atonement that completely removes our guilt as sinners. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, proclaims Romans 8:1!! And the beautiful thing is this: We who have trusted in Christ are no longer enemies of God! We are now his friends!

My Father, I praise you that, through the cross of Christ, I have become your friend! Thank you for this wonderful reminder, from Isaiah, of the sacrifice that our “suffering servant” made on our behalf. May I live a life worthy of this sacrifice, while acknowledging that there is no way that I could ever be worthy of it. As I read in Deuteronomy 7:7-9 earlier this morning, it is not because of anything special that I have done. I could never do anything to deserve your love. Countless times in my life, I have been reminded that you love me as much as you are ever going to. I cannot do anything to make you love me more than you do; nor is there anything I can ever do to cause you to love me less than you do. Hallelujah, my God, for you love me with an everlasting love!

In light of that love, I pray for this day, and all the challenges that it will bring. I ask for a good work day for Christi and me, and that we will look to you for strength, no matter what comes our way. I also pray that you give Stephanie a good dose of your steadfast love during this day, that she might see it and know it, that you love her completely and unconditionally.

Those of us who have trusted in Christ have gone from enemies of God to friends of God. Celebrate that today!

Grace and peace, friends.