The Beautiful One

Today is Saturday, the fifth of February, 2022, in the fourth week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ be with you, today.

Day 23,340

It’s still rather cold, here in DFW, but better. It’s currently 20 degrees with a projected high of 49, today. I don’t think it quite made it to 40, yesterday, but it did get above freezing, and the street in front of our house seems to be dry. I’ll probably try to leave a little early for work, this morning, just in case there is any difficulty. I’m not expecting any, but you never know.

Here’s my Wordle score for today.

Wordle 231 3/6*


There’s another similar game that someone came up with, that involves math. It’s called “Nerdlegame.” It has eight spaces and involves equations. No thank you. I choose to not do math for fun. I avoid math whenever possible, and am most certainly not entertained by it.

I don’t want to risk running out of time, this morning, so I’m going to move on to my devotional content. I will say that Mama is still here, and is immensely enjoying her time here. At this point, there is no definite plan as to when she will return home, and for how long. We haven’t talked all that through, just yet.

I have forgotten to mention a couple things. Wednesday night, I think, it was, we all watched Hamilton on Disney+. Mama really enjoyed it. Last night, we watched The Greatest Showman, and we all enjoyed that, as well. It was a lot of fun. I have no idea how accurate it was, as I know virtually nothing about P.T. Barnum and his life. But the movie was good.


Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, 
your faithfulness to the clouds. 
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; 
your judgments are like the great deep; 
man and beast you save, O LORD. 
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! 
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 
They feast on the abundance of your house,
 and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
 For with you is the fountain of life; 
in your light do we see light. 
(Psalms 36:5-9 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the steadfast love of the Lord
2. that I have drunk from the river of His delights
3. that the Lord has said to my heart, "Do not fear!"
4. for the beauty of God
5. for beauty in creation, that reflects the Beautiful One
"I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit; 
you heard my plea, 'Do not close your ear to my cry for help!' 
You came near when I called on you; you said, 'Do not fear!'"
(Lamentations 3:55-57 ESV)
Come, let us worship and bow down.
 Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for he is our God. 
We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. 
If only you would listen to his voice today! 
The LORD says, 
“Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, 
as they did at Massah in the wilderness. 
For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
 even though they saw everything I did."
(Psalms 95:6-9 NLT)

We are called upon to love the Lord through the hard times, just as much as we love Him through the pleasant times. This seems challenging to some. There are types of people who simply lose their minds when things don’t go the way they think they should. And I’m not talking about how it can ruin my day if the Internet doesn’t work right. That’s just me being petty and silly.

I’m talking about folks who believe the world is ending in Revelation-style proportions if the “wrong” guy gets elected. This hearkens back to where we put our trust. If our hope and trust is in the Lord, and we listen to His voice that has said to us, “Do not fear!” then there is no place for this dismay.

“Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for HE is our God.” Let us love Him just as much when things are going great, when things seem like they are catastrophic or disastrous, as we love Him when things are just dandy. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that this creates a calmness in life that is unequaled. It helps one to live life on more of an even keel, as it were. In case you don’t know what that means, to be “even-keeled” means to be characterized by stability or consistency.

And there is nothing more stable than the love of God. I promise you this is true. Because His love reaches to the heavens and stretches to the clouds. It is like the mighty mountains, and His justice flows like the ocean’s tide.

Go back up there and listen to that Third Day song again (or for the first time, if you skipped it). Read the Psalm right under it while you listen. Dwell in that for a few minutes, meditating on the mighty love of God, the unchanging, steadfast love of God. There is nothing better.

The prayer word for today is “beauty.” John Keats is quoted as saying, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

This idea of beauty can be taken several ways. The author today’s reading in Pray a Word a Day comes from the perspective of a walk through a botanical garden in New York. I can only imagine the kind of beauty that she sees there.

But I believe that we can also take that word and apply it to our God. He is beautiful beyond all imagination. He is more beautiful than anything this person saw in that botanical garden. But the thing is, His beauty is reflected in that garden, because He is, ultimately, the Creator of all of that beauty. And God, the Beautiful One, creates things that reflect His beauty.

Father, I praise You, this morning, as You are the Beautiful One. I thank You for the word You spoke to my heart when You said, “Do not fear.” I thank You that this word continues to be true for me and for anyone who chooses to believe that You are Truth.

Lord, please help us to love You the same during hard times as we do during the good times. It is easy to love You during the easy times. Oddly enough, though, we tend to only pray during the hard, challenging times. Why is that, Lord? You must think us really strange people!

Help me to see beauty today. There is a chance that there will be may children at the library today. Help me see beauty in their faces, as well as the faces of their parents. Give me grace to be patient with all circumstances that arise today, and to remember my love for You through all things. Help me to love others, as well, even, and especially, when they are failing to love You through their difficult times. Help me be one who shows them what an “even-keeled” life looks like. That, of course, requires me to live life on an even keel, so help me to do that.

I want to show love to people, Father. I want to show them Your love, and I want to show them that I love them, as well. Help us to have a love revolution in our world. I pray for Your Church to remember who is in control, here.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

"Leaves of sound are shed they fall
On this murmuring mind
Where the lullabies call
And from these words I sink and fall
To the beautiful one

Behold this dreamer
In the arms of the beautiful one

Deep waters sound, who loves that deep?
I make my way
Up the toilsome steep
In green meadows now I sleep
In the beautiful one

Behold this dreamer
In the arms of the beautiful one

And in the wind a song
And moonlight on the lawn
Draws me on, and on
And thru the day a sigh
For dreamers such as I
Who steal away
To watch and pray"
(Words and music by Terry Scott Taylor and Tim Chandler, copyright 1986 Broken Songs)
I challenge you to
find some beauty in your world
on your way, today

Grace and peace, friends.

Sweeter Than Honey

Today is Monday, the nineteenth of July, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,139

31 days until S’s birthday!

You’ll notice that I’m a little late, this morning. I’m taking PTO for the day, as previously mentioned, as I have a little something that I need to take care of, this morning. That’s all I’m saying at the moment. Hopefully, there will be more news later.

I realized, when talking to my mother, yesterday, that I had failed to give my weekly WW update after attending the workshop. I lost 1.2 back from the 2.6 I gained the week before. The lowest I have been, so far, was on July 3, when I had lost a total of 121.6 pounds, since February of 2020. I’m currently at 120.2 pounds lost. I feel confident that this plateau will eventually end.

But it’s frustrating, especially when I look at the app that we got when we bought our new bathroom scale, back in May. It shows that, since May 2, I have only lost 5.4 pounds. I mean . . . my previous WW coach would have said I’m using the word “only” wrong . . . a loss is a loss is a loss, right? Any negative number is good. And I keep saying that when the number on the right has a + next to it, I focus on the number on the left, which is the total amount lost, which, as stated in the above paragraph, is 120.2 pounds.

In spite of the frustration of the last two months, that is a remarkable number, and I feel great.

C painted the kitchen stove, yesterday, with her stainless steel appliance paint. I’ll post two pictures . . . before and after.


I might be a little biased, but I think she did pretty darned good. She briefly spoke of possibly painting the microwave, but I’m trying to convince her that we need to go ahead and replace that one. The stove, on the other hand, is not that old. Less than five years, I’m pretty sure. And it’s a good stove.


Lord, I dedicate this day to You.
May my feet walk only where You want them to walk.
May my eyes see only what You want them to see.
May my ears hear only what You want them to hear.
May my mouth say only what You want it to say.
May my mind think only what You want it to think.

Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O LORD.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.
(Psalms 36:5-9 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for Your unfailing love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice;
2. that You care for people and animals alike;
3. that I find shelter in the shadow of Your wings;
4. that the heavens declare Your glory;
5. that Your Word is more precious than gold, and sweeter than honey.

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



The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
(Psalms 24:1 NIV)

I pause for a moment to listen to (and sing) this song, and consider Your great love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice.

Your Love Oh Lord, by Third Day


For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
(Psalms 19:1-6, 14 NIV)


Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

(Genesis 1:26-31; 2:2-3 NIV)


As I read over these passages, reminding myself that I sit in the sweet presence of the Lord, I ask/allow the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts, asking Him to lead them away from distractions.

I feel like I could have stopped after reading Psalm 19 and listening to the Third Day song. I was in a sort of worship euphoria, at that moment. The psalm is rich with celebration and meaning.

Being one who loves to look up at the night sky, especially when I am in a setting such as our favorite cabin in Glen Rose, where there is little to no light pollution. The stars, the heavens, do, indeed, declare His glory. And, as the psalmist so aptly observes, they do it silently.

Yet their silence is so very loud! They have no speech, they use no words, “yet their voice goes out into all the earth; their words to the ends of the world.”

I want to share some verses that the devotional book omitted.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
(Psalms 19:7-10 NIV)

I once wrote a song using those verses as the chorus. I’m not sure if I have the words of the song anymore. A lot of those were lost, in an unfortunate accident, a few years back. Nevertheless, I love those four verses, and their description of the Word of God. Psalm 19 will forever remain one of my very favorite psalms. Right up there with Psalm 23 and Psalm 139.

I pray that last verse (verse 14) a lot, and you will notice that I frequently end my post with it.

In the Genesis passage, we see the creation of mankind. It is said that man was created in God’s image. The meaning of that, of course, has been debated for centuries, and I’m not wise enough to enter into that debate. However, I feel it safe to say that we aren’t referring to physical image, here. We have enough Scripture that informs us that God is spirit, and doesn’t physically possess arms and legs. At least not until Jesus became human.

Another clue is the fact that, because humans are created in God’s image, they are able to rule over fish, birds, and land animals, which, therefore must not be created in God’s image.

When Emily Deschanel, animal rights activists said in a TV commercial that cows “are beings just like us,” she was so very wrong. Because we, human beings, are created in the image of God, and cows are not.

However, let’s not forget that word in the psalm that proclaims that the Lord cares for humans and animals alike. That doesn’t mean we are all supposed to be vegetarians, because God, after the flood, decreed that animals were food for people.

And that’s as far as I’m going down that rabbit hole.

Genesis 1:31 sums it all very nicely. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” It won’t be until Genesis 2:18 that He sees something that is “not good.”

But before that, God rested. The seventh day, He rested from all of His work, and made that day a holy day. Was God tired? I don’t know. Most theologians scoff at that idea and proclaim that God doesn’t get tired.

But, man. He had just created, you know, everything. A universe, all the stars (of which Psalm 8 says He knows exactly how many there are and calls them all by name), solar systems, planets, animals, fish, birds, and, finally people. It would not in any way diminish my feelings about God if I did find out that maybe He was a tad weary after all of that.

I mean, you try creating everything and see how you feel afterward.

Later, the Lord made it a decree that humans should also rest one day a week. Because we do get tired.

Father, I praise You for everything I see around me. There are places on my drive to work, every morning, where I wish I had time to pull over, stop, and just gaze. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of Interstate highways and DFW city, there is a small body of water, surrounded on one end by trees. It looks so peaceful, and there is occasionally a large white bird standing among the trees on that end, maybe some kind of heron. And on cool mornings, there is a beautiful mist rising up from the water.

Whenever I drive by that pond, I worship You. I thank You for creation, and pray that You will always lead me to worship You through it, and because of it. Thank You for creating us, as well. I praise You, also, for Your Word, and the many characteristics that the psalmist gave us in Psalm 19. May it ever be more precious and gold, and may its taste in my mouth be sweeter than honey. Thank You for Your great and never-ending love, Oh, Lord!

"God of love and laughter,
did you take delight in giraffes or chuckle over puffer fish?
And who conceived of noses?
You gave every creature its being,
and appearance.
As each creature and organism speaks of your extravagant life and serves your purposes,
inspire me to care for them on your behalf.

Lord, give me eyes to see Your work all around me, today. May Your care and comfort in this creation that constantly groans, be evident to all of us. I especially lift up veterinarians and zookeepers today, those who work in caring for these animals.

I also pray for what is taking place, this morning, and ask that, whatever happens, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


“I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.'”
(Isaiah 51:16 NIV)

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:5 NIV)

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
(Isaiah 40:8 NIV)

Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—
(Psalms 119:2 NIV)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
(Mark 13:31 NIV)

Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don’t gather the grapes from your unpruned vines.
(Leviticus 25:9-11 NLT)

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
(Luke 4:18-19 NLT)

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
(Galatians 5:1 NLT)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
(Psalms 19:14 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Your Love, Oh Lord

“In contrast to the claustrophobic, self-absorbed nature of sin, the love of God is as high as the heavens (verse 5), majestic as the mountains (verse 6), and inexhaustible as the ocean (verse 6). God’s love is like a land of endless delights. Those who first eat of its bounty and drink from its river (verse 8) want to return to it again and again in prayer and worship.”

Today is Thursday, March 12, 2020, in the second week of Lent. Peace be with you!

Day 22,645

31 days until Resurrection Sunday!

PTO day today, as I have my one month check up with the hand specialist. I’m expecting him to be pleased with the progress that has been made from doing the therapy exercises he gave me last month. I have no idea when he will want to see me again. The appointment is at 9:30. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight when I made the appointment. I should have made it closer to noon, or even in the afternoon. But, it is, as “they” say, what it is, and I was not able to sleep in, this morning. Maybe a half hour, but that really doesn’t count, right?

But after that appointment, I’m free for the rest of the day. I really have no plans at all. I might play games on the PS4. Okay, that will definitely happen. But I might get in some reading, as well. I’m way behind on my reading for the Renovare Book Club, which is currently reading Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle. I also have about three or four hundred more pages in David Copperfield. That book is huge!

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will have completed 62 revolutions around the sun since the day of my birth. But the celebration will be minimum, and that’s okay. No cake, because that doesn’t fit into our current WW (formerly Weight Watchers) plan, and, frankly, I don’t want it. Plus C has her carpal tunnel surgery in the morning. I believe she is having the left hand/arm done first. So I will be taking her to that. We have to be there at 7:45, so, once again, no sleeping in.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
(Psalms 51:15)

Today I am grateful:
1. That God is in control of all things, no matter how bad they may appear
2. That righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne, and that love and faithfulness go before you (Psalm 89.14)
3. That You, O Lord, daily bear us up (Psalm 68.19)
4. That You help my unbelief (Mark 9.24)
5. That with You is the fountain of life (Psalm 36.9)

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
(Psalms 43:3)

O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you? Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
(Psalms 89:8, 14)

The version of that last verse that is used in The Divine Hours, renders that last phrase to say, “love and truth go before your face.” When I read that, I think that, when God lifts His face toward me, He is sending love and truth in my direction.

I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
(Psalms 116:9)

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
(John 3:19-21)

O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, Selah. the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad; you restored your inheritance as it languished; your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
(Psalms 68:7-10)
The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary. You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there. Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah. Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
(Psalms 68:17-20)

Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
(Psalms 55:17)

“Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
(Colossians 4:2-6)

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 40:31)

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 18:2-3)
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
(Matthew 18:10)

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
(Mark 9:23-25)

Hardly a day goes by where I don’t feel like the father of that child. “I believe; help my unbelief!!”

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. May the foot of the proud not come against me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. See how the evildoers lie fallen— thrown down, not able to rise!
(Psalms 36:5-12 NIV)

“In contrast to the claustrophobic, self-absorbed nature of sin, the love of God is as high as the heavens (verse 5), majestic as the mountains (verse 6), and inexhaustible as the ocean (verse 6). God’s love is like a land of endless delights. Those who first eat of its bounty and drink from its river (verse 8) want to return to it again and again in prayer and worship.”

The claustrophobic, self-absorbed nature of people is in full view during the current panic over coronavirus. I’m not at all implying that it’s not a serious issue. But the response? Outrageously irrational. People rushing to the stores, buying all of the toilet paper and hand cleaner (not to mention other cleaners) in a mindless panic. Frankly I’m baffled by the run on toilet paper. That makes no sense at all.

What is the “Christian” response to this? Carry on as usual. Pray. Worship. Love the God whose love is as high as the heavens and majestic as the mountains and inexhaustible as the ocean. God’s love isn’t like hand cleaner and toilet paper. The supply cannot be depleted.

On the Cross, our God revealed how He can be both loving and holy. In Jesus Christ, we can possess light, joy, clarity, and truth.

“For with you is the fountain of life.” What beautiful and wonderful encouragement in this life.

Prayer: “Lord, I so often live in a cramped world of self-pity, nursing hurt feelings, wondering why people don’t treat me better. Let me explore the innumerable facets of your love. That’s better than listening to the best music, better than standing on a mountaintop, better than gazing at a huge diamond. How priceless is your unfailing love! Amen.”

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens; Your faithfulness stretches to the sky; Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains; Your justice flows like the ocean’s tide. I will lift my voice to worship you my King. I will find my strength in the shadow of Your wings.” (Third Day)

I do believe, Lord! Help my unbelief!

Grace and peace, friends!