What I Believe

Today is Monday, September 5, 2022, in the 23rd week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ dwell in your soul today!

Day 23,552

Today is Labor Day in the US, a holiday for many people (not the retail folks, though).

We had a nice thunderstorm with a decent amount of rain, yesterday afternoon. During the storm (we were under a “severe thunderstorm warning,” but it didn’t seem that severe in our location), the temperature dropped from 93 (the high for the day) to 70, in the space of less than an hour. I ventured out to get Sonic drinks between 3:30 and 4:00, and it was very nice outside. According to the site I use to check the amount, we got .38 inch in the last 72 hours. That’s the way I like my rain, not 9.5 inches in, say, twelve hours.

Today’s high is predicted to be 91, and our highs seem to be stuck in the 89-92 zone for the next ten days. The record high for today’s date was, once again, in 2000, at 105. I’m glad I don’t live in Citrus Heights, CA. One source predicts a high of 113 there, today. Egad.

We watched the Elvis movie, yesterday, on HBO Max. It’s a very well-done movie, and the young man who plays Elvis Presley did a very good job. I understand he did a lot of the singing, and also plays piano and guitar. Tom Hanks plays Col. Tom Parker. In this movie, it is coming from Parker’s POV, as he tries to convince us (not successfully) that he is not the villain, here, but that Elvis wouldn’t have existed without him.

I think I might do a separate review of the movie, later.

The Texas Rangers lost the fourth and final game to the Boston Red Sox, yesterday, 5-2. The Sox swept the Rangers. Have the Rangers given up? Or are the Red Sox surging? Hard to say. The Sox may have a slim chance of making the playoffs, and the Rangers have slim to none. The Rangers are now 58-75, soon to be twenty games below .500. The Angels lost, though, so the Rangers are still in third place in the AL West, 27.5 out of first place and 15.5 out of a Wild Card spot. Their division E# is 2, and the WCE# is 15. They have 29 games left, and begin a series in Houston today.

The Red Sox are 67-68, almost back to .500. They are still in last place in the AL East, 13.5 out of first and 7.5 out of a Wild Card spot. Their division E# is 15, and their WCE# is 22. They have 27 games left, and begin an important series in Tampa today.

The Minnesota Twins have caught up with the Cleveland Guardians, as the Guardians have lost five in a row. This is important for Minnesota, as there is currently no team in the AL Central in a Wild Card spot, because they are still locked up by two AL East teams and one AL West team. The Red Sox could knock Tampa out of that spot this week. Here’s hoping.

The Dodgers won again, so their MLB leading record is now 92-41. With 29 games left, they have to win 25 of those to break the 116 win record. The Nationals won again, but still have the worst record, at 47-87. The Mariners continue to win, now having a seven-game win streak. The Rangers, feeling the need to be the “best” at something, are in sole possession of an eight-game losing streak. The Dodgers edge closer to a +300 run differential, now at +294. The Pirates have overtaken the Nationals with the worst run differential, now at -209.

Not much on the agenda for today. Groceries are on the way, I’ve ordered some Crumbl cookies for the family, and we might have Lone Star BBQ for lunch. It’s Monday, so I’ll probably make chili for dinner, this evening. There might be a movie at some point, too.


We thank you, Father in heaven, that you concern yourself with us and that you bind us to yourself through all your deeds and all your help. We thank you for showing us a way of hope, a way that becomes always clearer, always firmer under our feet. On this way we can defy every evil of this world and time, knowing for sure that everything will come out right and we will all be brought to the great, eternal goal, even though we have to deny ourselves and go through much suffering. Your kingdom must come to the glory of your name, so that all people may live on a higher plane and follow you, the only true help and true life. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
(2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. that God concerns Himself with us and helps us, showing us a way of hope, which, if we are following Him, becomes ever more clear
  2. that we who long for Christ’s appearing will be awarded a crown of righteousness at the end of the race
  3. that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and, though we physically die, yet we shall live
  4. for the rest that comes with my relationship with Christ
  5. for the example of Jesus and His prayer life

So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
(John 11:3-4 ESV)

Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
(John 11:14-15 ESV)

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
(John 11:21-27 ESV)

We give thanks to you, O God; 
we give thanks, for your name is near. 
We recount your wondrous deeds.
(Psalms 75:1 ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 ESV)

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:27-30 ESV)

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(Matthew 6:33 ESV)

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
(Mark 1:35 ESV)

“All things work together for good.” When Jesus received word of Lazarus’s (did anyone else grow up hearing people call him “Lasaruth?”) illness, He purposefully delayed His visit. I think it is important to understand this, to comprehend it fully, or at least as fully as it is possible for our human brains.

Jesus let Lazarus die, in order for God to be glorified by raising him from the dead!

Take a few minutes to process this. It’s not unlike the man that was born blind, to whom Jesus restored sight. Jesus declared that it happened that God might be glorified.

There are people who would explain away things like this, try to reason humanistic values into the truth. “My God would never do something like that; He wouldn’t intentionally cause someone pain.”

The Bible says differently. And if you’re not okay with that, then your understanding of God Almighty is somewhat incomplete.

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
(Psalms 115:3 ESV)

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
(Psalms 138:2 ESV)

Here’s the thing. God created everything. He created the universe, then He created life on this planet. He may or may not have created life on other worlds. If He has, He hasn’t deemed it necessary to tell us about that.

He has the right to do whatever pleases Him, including things that will glorify Himself. And He is worthy of all of that glory because, as previously stated, He is the Creator. If you create something, it is yours, and it is your right to do whatever you wish with that creation.

Anyway . . . back to Lazarus. He was allowed to die so that the world could see the power of God in resurrection. It was a foreshadowing of what would happen to Jesus, who allowed Himself to die, so that God could be glorified in His resurrection.

And yes, Jesus allowed Himself to die.

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
(John 10:18 ESV)

And this, again, causes us to consider our thoughts about Jesus. I’ve mentioned this before, and will likely do so again. Any thoughts of Jesus simply being a “good person,” or a “good teacher,” are simply ridiculous, because of the claims He, Himself made. If any “normal” human being said the words in John 10:18, today, he would be locked up as crazy and be forced into therapy.

Either Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be, or He was insane, or He was an outright liar. Those are the only three options.

And if we believe that He was exactly who He claimed to be, then we should be believing His words and obeying His commands.

I do my best, in human terms, to do that. I believe that He was who He claimed to be; I believe His words, believing that He is the resurrection and the life, and that, even though I die, which I will, that I will live on into eternity, after the resurrection. Lazarus died again. He wouldn’t be the only person in history to do so, but there are only a handful of people who would die twice. And Lazarus will live again, after the resurrection, which will occur at the second coming of Christ.

I will remind you that I do not believe in the popular notion of a “rapture.”

I also try my best to obey the commands of Jesus, which are, as previously stated (perhaps ad nauseum to some), to love the Lord with all of our being, lover our neighbors as ourselves, and to love one another (all the saints) the way Christ has loved us.

So that’s what I believe. That wasn’t the original direction this was going to take, but, as any real writer (not that I’m a “real writer,” mind you) knows, sometimes your characters take you into some strange places.

I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, 
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, 
and born of the virgin Mary.
I believe He lived a sinless life and performed many miracles while on earth,
and was crucified, buried, and rose again on the third day.
I believe He ascended into heaven (I'm not sure about the descending into hell part)
where He sits at the right hand of God (except for that bit when Stephen was stoned and He was standing up)
until the day He will return to resurrect those who have "fallen asleep,"
and gather up the rest who are still alive
to live with Him in eternity in a new heaven and a new earth, 
wherever those will be.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the unified Church, the Body of Christ,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

That’s mostly the Apostles’ Creed, with some modifications.

I also believe in the rest that comes from following Christ and walking in His easy yoke. He bids us come to Him when we are weary and He will give us rest. He does the hardest work, if we will but let Him.

Father, I have lived most of my life believing in You and in Christ. I have believed longer than I can remember. I have loved Your Word since I have been able to read. Sure, there are some times, in the course of my life, that my belief waned, and that maybe I didn’t love Your Word as much as other times. Nevertheless, I still believe, today. In fact, my belief today is stronger than ever, and I praise You for bringing that to pass in me.

My belief and acknowledgment of the Holy Spirit and His power has not been as long or consistent as my belief in You and Christ. That is more complicated, and my “understanding,” if we can call it that, of the Holy Spirit came much later in life. I now, while not necessarily claiming to understand or comprehend, embrace the truth of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all equally loving and directing our attention to the other two. Three in One, God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

I believe that You are the Creator and that You do whatever pleases You. I am very glad that one of the things that pleases You is to commune with us, Your creation, Your people. I am grateful that You condescend to be concerned about us, and that You give us light and life. It is because of this belief that I can read the account of Lazarus without being upset about him being allowed to die so that You could be glorified. You are God; it is all about You, it is not about me or us. It is also about Jesus Christ, Your Son, and His glory.

I thank You for Jesus and all that He has done for us. I feel like I am rambling a bit, today, but there are a lot of thoughts running through my head, and I can’t quite make them all make sense. But another thing I believe is that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me when I do not know how to put my prayers into words. So I have faith that this is happening today.

Help me to be a light in this world of trouble. Help me to follow the commands of Jesus, to love You and to love people, giving them encouragement instead of criticism (oh, how critical I have been in the past . . . my God, I pray for forgiveness for that!). There is more than enough criticism in this world, Father. Help me be light, life, and encouragement to people. Salt and light.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, you heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
(Traditional Doxology)

Grace and peace, friends.

Lord, Plant My Feet On Higher Ground

It’s Tuesday, March 27, 2012. It’s a cool 59 degrees, this morning, but the high will be in the mid eighties. It looks like March will give a final gasp of storminess, Friday, with potential thunderstorms in the forecast. If the forecast holds true, April will start out rather mild. I can’t see the Easter forecast yet…it doesn’t go that far.

My mother’s birthday is on Easter this year. So we will be visiting with her that day. If they are able, we will attend church with them. If they are not, we won’t…we’ll just visit with them and have lunch. What??? Not go to church on EASTER??? You know…I really don’t have that much of a problem with that. For the true Christian, Easter is just another Sunday. *Fights off excommunication threats…* Seriously…we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ every Sunday! In fact, that’s why we attend church on Sunday (well, most of us do…there are a few branches that still believe Saturday is the day that we should worship).

There is one more day in this “Biggest Loser” challenge. If I ever talk about doing something like this again, someone please remind me how weary I am of this competition. I will be so glad after that final weigh-in tomorrow. At this point, I have to say that, no matter what the result of the competition, everyone who ended up losing weight is a winner. I’ve been in third place for several weeks. If I at least stay in third, I win some cash. If I can advance to second or first, I win more cash. I toyed with the idea of not eating at all today. But frankly, it’s just not worth putting myself through that. I’ll be very strict today, though. If I can drop one more pound by tomorrow morning, I will have lost 46 pounds in 10 weeks…almost five pounds a week! And a total of 12.64% loss! I’m sorry if some are getting tired of hearing about this…it won’t be nearly as prevalent after Thursday (the day the winner is announced).

Enough of that stuff…

Father, I pray that you will teach me something today. Give me something to “chew on” as I travel to work today. Keep me mindful throughout this day of what you have shown me this morning.

My Utmost For His Highest

“Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Revelation 4:1

If I think I am living up to the highest standards I can, God will challenge me to go higher. “When you get higher up, you face other temptations and characteristics.” Oddly, both Satan and God will used the “strategy of elevation” in our lives. When the devil gets us in an elevated place, our whole sense of propriety gets screwed up. We get high and lift up ourselves! And it’s like being balanced on a tightrope…we don’t dare move for fear of spoiling it. “But when God elevates you by His grace into the heavenly places, instead of finding a pinnacle to cling to, you find a great tableland where it’s easy to move.” What a great word picture that is! There is safety in God’s “high places!”

Chambers challenges us to compare this week in our “spiritual history” to the same week last year. So I looked back at this day’s devotional blog last year. Turns out it was Sunday. I’m not sure where we went to church that day…probably City View Church. We had not yet discovered The Exchange. Although I can’t see a lot of difference between that writing and today’s, I know that God has definitely called me to a higher place. In light of this, Chambers also encourages, “Never let God give you one point of truth which you do not instantly live up to.” That’s why I pray for something to chew on as I drive to work…something to ponder during the day. If God shows me something here, I don’t want to forget about it by lunchtime. It needs to become part of my life. This is the great challenge with morning devotions, you know. Making something real out of them…it’s terribly easy for it to just be a cursory few minutes of casual Bible reading. As soon as God reveals something me, I need to start living it!

Tabletalk Magazine

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

Tabletalk continues looking at the Heidelberg Catechism, which, in turn, is examining the doctrines in the Apostles’ Creed. Question 29 focuses “on Christ’s role as Savior, looking to the name Jesus and its significance.” The passage quoted above is one that shows Jesus’s role as Savior being tied in with his name. The name Jesus is a transliteration of the Hebrew name Yehoshua, or “Joshua,” which means “Yahweh is salvation.” “In that child, the name ‘Yahweh is salvation’ reached its fulfillment because it was given to the incarnation of Yahweh Himself.”

It was said that Jesus would save his people from their sins. There are two aspects of this truth. The first is that he would, indeed, save us from the penalty of sin through justification by bearing the wrath of God on the cross. The second is that he would save us from the power of sin through sanctification. “Having been exalted to the Father’s right hand, Christ pours out His Holy Spirit on His brethren that they might receive new hearts, empowering them to stare down sin and live in holiness.” I like that phrase, “stare down sin.” So, we see that the role of Jesus was not simply to save us from the penalty of sin, but also to enable us to live a life with power to resist sin.

The Bible Panorama

Luke 4:1–30; Judg. 1–3

In the Luke passage today, it begins with the temptations of Jesus. This came at a time when he would be physically weak (as well as emotionally) because he had just fasted for forty days. He was hungry. And the devil tempted him first at that point of weakness. “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” We know that Jesus could have done that…he fed 5000+ people with a few loaves of the stuff. But Jesus, even in his weakened state, did not succumb. His defense has been touted for centuries as evidence of the importance of Scripture memory. Jesus quoted Scripture at the devil. In all three of the temptations, Jesus was ready with a verse of Old Testament Scripture. Of course, the devil knew some of that, too, because, in the final temptation, Satan quoted from the Psalms. After the temptations, Jesus went back to Galilee, “in the power of the Spirit,” and it was then that he began teaching in their synagogues. After that, he went to Nazareth, where the people got all indignant with him because he was, after all, just a carpenter’s son.

Today I start reading Judges, the second of the historical books of the Old Testament. There are differing opinions as to when it was written, possibly between 1043 and 1004 BC. The author is also not clear, but could be Samuel. The MacArthur Study Bible says that the Jewish Talmud names Samuel as the author. Some of the key things in Judges are Israel’s failure to completely conquer Canaan, the appointment of thirteen judges to rule Israel after the death of Joshua, Israel’s roller-coaster ride between faithfulness and decline, highlighted by the constant repetition of the phrase, “And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord…” Chrispin states, “The reminder is that humanity is unable to rule itself righteously without divine involvement.”

Judges 1 chronicles more of the battle to conquer Canaan, including the capture of Jerusalem. However, it ends with the tragic listing of tribes that did not successfully drive out the inhabitants, instead subjecting them to forced labor. At the beginning of chapter 2, the angel of the Lord calls them out on their disobedience. They are told that, as a result, “I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” Almost immediately after the death of Joshua, the slide begins. 2:11 says, “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.” The remainder of chapter 2 seems to be a summary of what is to come. Chapter 3 lists the nations that will be a hindrance to Israel, and then begins the stream of judges. First was Othniel, then Ehud. After Ehud was Shamgar, who only got one verse.

Father, I do pray for you to take me even higher. But not so that I can look down and proclaim, “Look at me, how high I am!” Why then? Because I desire to be closer to you. I also desire to walk around on this “tableland” that Chambers speaks of. I long for safety in your arms. Do I feel safe now? Yes, to some degree I do. While there are always little things that threaten my peace, I rarely feel threatened, right now. Nevertheless, there are still things that trouble me. For some reason, my spirit was troubled yesterday evening. I don’t know why. I just know I was in a bad mood. I pray that your Spirit would take over when I get like that…give me your peace. Let not my heart be troubled. You, the sovereign God of the universe, have deemed it acceptable to fellowship with me, and others like me. I, who am nothing, am able to converse with you, who are everything! This truth is more than I can fathom. I feel safe, yes. I feel joy. Let my circumstances not dictate my feelings of safety and joy, though. Peace is from you, not from this world. Nothing in this house can bring me peace. You are the only source of true peace in my life. So let me climb higher, being prepared to face a totally new set of temptations and challenges that come with this. I am not satisfied to stay here. Draw me closer.

I thank you, Jesus, for your role of Savior, both in justification and sanctification. I believe that we, too often, focus only on the justification and not enough on the sanctification. You have given us the power to resist sin. I have experienced this ability…this power. It is amazing. The very thought that, through the power of your Spirit, I am able to resist sin which plagued me at other points in my life…this is, again, something that I am barely able to comprehend. But I praise you for this!

Father, I pray for memory…give me Scriptural ammunition to use against temptation. I thank you for the example of Christ, who withstood all of the possible temptations that Satan could throw at him.

I pray for Jennifer this morning, Lord, who finds herself in a less than satisfactory home situation. I pray that you strengthen her to deal with this in a positive way.

Your grace is sufficient.

Let us find that “tableland,” not a treacherous peak, where we are safe with God and able to walk around in his presence.

Grace and peace, friends.

Loyalty to the Call

Good morning. It’s Monday morning, February 5, 2012. Another work week begins today. But this will be a short one for Christi and me, because we are taking Friday off and heading down to Glen Rose for our semi-annual weekend stay at Paluxy River Bed Cabins! We can’t wait for the rest and relaxation that we will get over this coming weekend. We are grateful to Rachel and Justin for staying at our house with Stephanie over the weekend. The weather for the weekend is less than perfect (some showers predicted on Friday and Saturday, with cool temps), but we will still have a marvelous time. For a look at our feelings and thoughts about this place, check out This Entry in my other blog.

The weekend was pretty nice, and things went pretty well for both of us during the worship celebrations yesterday morning at The Exchange. In fact, I can’t remember anything going wrong. That’s a first!

My Utmost For His Highest

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24

“Joy means the perfect fulfillment of that for which I was created and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing.” Christ’s joy was in doing what the Father had sent him to do. Has the Lord given me a ministry? Then my life’s work should be to fulfill that ministry; I must be loyal to it. What joy would be mine, to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” at the end of my earthly life! But in order to know what this ministry is, we must know Jesus more deeply. My loyalty needs to be to whatever I discern from him while in closest contact with him. But the need is not the call; “the need is the opportunity. The call is loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him.” And this just might mean that I have to ignore other demands for service.

Tabletalk Magazine

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

Christians are identified by their belief in “the Apostolic gospel.” But in order to believe something, it is kind of necessary to understand it, right? And to understand something, it helps to have a summary. Questions and answers 22 and 23 of the Heidelberg Catechism “assert that the gospel is summarized in the Apostles’ Creed, a Trinitarian confession grounded in the teaching of Jesus.” Even though the Creed does not mention some things which are essential to the gospel, it is important to note that, for example, the early church did not debate the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, therefore, that is not addressed in this Creed. “Instead, the early Christians spent most of their time and effort defending the nature of God against heretics who denied Christ’s deity and the personhood of the Holy Spirit, among other things.”

What the Apostles’ Creed is all about is the “news of what the triune God has done for sinners to glorify Himself.” It is “a fine summary of the biblical gospel. It tells us that our Father, of His own initiative, sent His Son to live, die, and be resurrected for His people. It is about God’s work on our behalf, not what we do to earn a right standing before Him.” To believe what the Apostles’ Creed teaches is to believe the gospel.

The Bible Panorama

Mark 9:30-50; Numbers 34-36

As I continue reading Mark 9, Jesus again foretells his death and resurrection in verses 30-32. What follows after that is that the disciples are caught debating among themselves who is the greatest. Jesus turns it around on them and declares that the greatest must be the least. He uses a child to demonstrate this. Then, in verses 38-41, an event occurs that causes Jesus to speak the words, “For the one who is not against us is for us.” I have never heard a sermon preached on that statement, but I’ve heard plenty on the opposite one. He then asserts that even giving a cup of water to a brother or sister in need will result in a blessing. The chapter closes with a dire warning about being one who causes someone else to sin. There is also a very real description of hell in the words of Jesus.

Numbers 34 consists of a description of the boundaries of the Promised Land, and a list of the tribal chiefs who would be responsible for dividing the land. Chapter 35 describes cities that would be given to the Levites. It then goes into detail about a unique concept called “cities of refuge.” These would be cities where a person could flee in the case that he or she accidentally killed someone. In a city of refuge, they would be protected from the vengeance of the family of the one killed. However, if murder was committed, with forethought, there was no protection. A murderer, convicted on the testimony of multiple witnesses, would be put to death. Chapter 36 concludes the book of Numbers with some regulations about the women from an earlier chapter whose father had died in the wilderness and left no sons. The regulations dealt with who they could marry in order to retain their inheritance.

Father, I pray that you would make my ministry calling clear to me again. I confess that, in the past year or so, there has been confusion regarding this. I pray for clarity. I pray for determination to keep you close. I pray for a more intimate walk with Christ. And I pray that the focus of the rest of my life would be on whatever ministry you have laid before me.

I thank you for clear pictures of what the gospel is. I believe the gospel, Lord. Occasionally, there is shadow of doubt, but my spirit is in agreement with your Spirit, and I believe that Jesus Christ lived, died, and was resurrected to take away our sins, and to finally defeat our worst enemy, death. I believe that I will one day live for eternity in my heavenly home, where that winds up being. I believe that I will joyfully spend eternity worshiping you.

I pray for this day, Lord, that Christi and I will have a good day at work. I pray that Stephanie will have a good meeting with her teacher today, and that you will help her get caught up on her math work, so that she can get her grade average up.

Thank you for a good weekend. I also thank you that Bart was at church Sunday! It was so great to see him!

What is your calling? Discern that during intimate times with Christ and then follow it will everything you’ve got.

Grace and peace, friends.