Deliver Us From the Evil One

Good morning. It is Thursday, September 3, 2015. Pre-Friday.

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is bluestocking. This noun is not referring to an article of clothing, but means, “a woman having intellectual or literary interests.”

Today is Welsh Rarebit Day. Welsh Rarebit is, essentially, cheese on toast. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with cheese on toast.
Welsh Rarebit

Christi’s leg is feeling better this morning, possibly due to wearing her boot yesterday. She is quite upbeat about how much better, in fact, so she’s going to keep wearing the boot for a few more days, hoping that this will allow the muscle to heal. Perhaps the MRI will not be necessary.

Christi also had a good talk with a rep from APS (Adult Protective Services) about her mother, yesterday. The lady with whom she spoke was very kind, understanding, and encouraging. She’s going to go see Christi’s mother and step-dad again, today, to explain to them what there options are. None of those options involve any more responsibility on Christi’s part. It was very encouraging to both of us.

Tonight is Christi’s Huddle night. Once again, I consider getting in some trombone practice while she is gone. Hopefully, I can make myself do that, tonight, especially since I won’t be at band practice this coming Monday.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Today’s Psalm, in Heart Aflame, is Psalm 102:10.

because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down.

“Whenever, therefore, God, after having stripped us of the blessing which he had conferred upon us, gives us up to reproach, let us learn that we have so much the greater cause to lament, because through our own fault, we have turned light into darkness.” (p 247)

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13

Today, we reach the final petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “deliver us from evil.” Calvin considered this as part of the sixth petition, combining it with “lead us not into temptation.” However, both Luther and Augustine considered it separately, as a seventh petition. Many have said, including my pastor, that it should be translated, “deliver us from the evil one,” meaning the devil, or Satan.

Luther writes that this phrase is “‘directed against specific evils that emanate from the devil’s kingdom . . . poverty, dishonor, death, in short . . . everything that threatens our bodily welfare.'”

Augustine says that the sixth petition is asking for deliverance from evil within us, while this seventh one asks “for protection from evil outside us, from malignant forces in the world, especially our enemies who wish to do us harm.”

Father, as I continue to pray through Jesus,s prayer example, I pray for wisdom and understanding to help make it applicable to my life. Over the course of the last year, there have been multiple sources that have helped me with this, and I am grateful for that. I am, perhaps, most grateful for Timothy Keller and his shared wisdom from his own studies of Calvin, Luther, and Augustine, et al. But beyond them, I ask for your Holy Spirit’s help in understanding what I read. I pray these requests each day, trying to personalize them in some way. May you truly deliver us from the evil one, as we try to live our lives by your precepts and commands. But even this is only possible through the power of the Spirit. May your Spirit be my strength today.

I pray for this day, that our travel to and from work be safe. I pray that Christi’s leg will continue to heal and feel better. May our work day go smoothly today. I pray for your grace to rain down on the rest of my family today, and that you would draw us all closer to you in some way.

Your grace is sufficient.

Consider the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, if you will. As you pray through them, try to personalize them to your own situations, not simply repeating them by rote. Ponder each of them, individually, and what they mean to you.
Deliver-us-sm

Grace and peace, friends.

Who Am I?

“How difficult it is to be honest–to accept that I am unacceptable, to renounce self-justification, to give up my preposterous pretending that my paltry prayers, spiritual insights, knowledge of Scripture, and blustering successes in ministry have made me pleasing to God.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Wednesday, September 3, 2014.

Yesterday afternoon, our SAP program went down, which caused us to not be able to do any goods receipts during the last 90 minutes of work. As a result of that, I need to go in early this morning, so I’ve got to hurry to get whatever devotional I can get done in the next fifteen minutes or so. Therefore, there will be none of my normal introductory stuff.

I will, however, take a few seconds to let you know that today is Welsh Rarebit Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

(From The Divine Hours)

My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Psalm 145:21
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.
Agnus Dei
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

Psalm 36:5
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.

Psalm 145:1

Today’s Gospel reading

It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Matthew 5:31-32

In this passage, Jesus tackles the Jewish law that allowed divorce for just about any reason imaginable. Basically, if a Hebrew man of that time decided he was tired of his wife, he could make up something to divorce her over. Jesus reinstated the sanctity of marriage in this passage, allowing only the sin of “sexual immorality” as an acceptable reason for divorce. There is a lot more that could be discussed in this passage, but I simply don’t have time this morning. Let it just be said that the sanctity of marriage is important to God.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Knowing Who We Are.”

Brennan quotes one of the Beatitudes from the NEB: “Blessed are those who know that they are poor.” It is important that we know who we are. “How difficult it is to be honest–to accept that I am unacceptable, to renounce self-justification, to give up my preposterous pretending that my paltry prayers, spiritual insights, knowledge of Scripture, and blustering successes in ministry have made me pleasing to God.” I have no beauty that “enamors me in his eyes. I am lovable because he loves me. Period.” It is a very liberating experience to move from this “darkness of self-delusion” to the light of the truth of God. The only thing that makes me beautiful in the eyes of God is the fact that he chose me and covered me with the blood of Christ.

Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God
and knows God.

1 John 4:7

Father, I thank you for the truth stated above. Help me to know this on a daily basis. There are times when I do pretty good with this, yet there are other times when I get all puffed up with Biblical knowledge and piety and all that stuff. Yes, I pray every day. Yes, I read my Bible and “devote” ever day. But nothing of those things makes you love me more! There is nothing I can do to make you love me more! You love me because you love me, not because I have done anything “love-worthy.” Keep that right in front of my eyes and heart, Father, and make me appreciate your grace!

I pray for this day. I pray that Christi’s job keep going as well as it has started. I pray that our drive to work and home will be safe. I pray that our SAP system will be working when I get there. I also ask that Stephanie will experience your great and overwhelming love today. Let her know how much you love her.

I pray for Robert’s friend Carl, who is in a medically induced coma after a motorcycle accident. I pray that you would heal and spare his life, Lord.

Your grace is sufficient.

who-am-i-
Who are you? Who am I? These are things we need to understand as we relate to our Father.

Grace and peace, friends.

Praying for the Spirit of Holiness

Good morning. It is Tuesday (but feels like Monday), September 3, 2013. Sonic has half-price breakfast burritos today!

Today is “Welsh Rarebit Day.” I’m not even sure what that is, but I’ve heard the name. Apparently, it is some kind of cheese on toast or something. It is, according to that great scholar, “Wikipedia,” typically made with cheddar cheese and “other ingredients” (one site says some kind of ale sauce), and poured over slices of bread.


We had a very nice day yesterday. Rachel and Justin came over around 1pm, and we went to Zio’s Italian Kitchen for lunch. After a very nice lunch, we came home and played a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity. Don’t ask. I will never tell you. It’s horrible. But we laugh so hard.

After they left, Christi and I finished watching this week’s episode of Unforgettable, then made some boxed Velveeta Shells and Cheese for dinner. We add tuna to ours, and Steph just has hers plain. We watched a couple of episodes of Warehouse 13, then went to Braum’s for sundaes. After returning home, Stephanie stayed out and watched another episode of Parenthood with us. She really likes this show and likes watching it with us, which is rare.


(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1886, “the last great war chief of the Apaches agreed to surrender himself and his desperate band to the United States Army.” Geronimo surrendered at Skeleton Canyon, a “remote corner of the Arizona Territory near the Mexican border.” They had been chasing Geronimo for five months. According to General Nelson A. Miles, their elusiveness had “never been matched since the days of Robin Hood.” After arriving at Fort Bowie, “the Apaches were herded into railroad cars for their journey to Florida and exile.”

There was, however, a wire service report in 1930, stating that a band of “wild Apache Indians scalped three persons” on April 10, near Nacori Chico, Sonora, Mexico. They were believed to have been led by “Geronimo III, the grandson of the Geronimo who was chased by the U.S. Army for three years during the ’80’s in Arizona.”


Today’s birthday is Don Brewer, born on this date in 1948. Brewer was the drummer for the rock group, Grand Funk Railroad, later shortened to simply Grand Funk. My memory is fuzzy, but they may have gotten the “Railroad” back at some point, as it all had to do with legal battles with producer Terry Knight. Anyway, here is a clip of a live concert at Shea Stadium in 1971. They are performing “I’m Your Captain.”

Honorable mentions go to Charlie Sheen, 48, Ferdinand Porsche, 1875-1951, Eileen Brennan, 1932-2013, Valerie Perrine, 70, Nick Wechsler, 35, Al Jardine, 71, and Hank Thompson, 1925-2007.


TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. Psalm 66:16
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Psalm 67:1-2
Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning. Psalm 119:54
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Father, as I look into your word today, teach me more about you and your ways, and how to successfully live this life with you.


Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “They Fasted That Day.” The scripture reading is 1 Samuel 7:3-6.

And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only. Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the LORD and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.

Part of the process that Israel went through here, in returning to the Lord from the false gods, was fasting for the day. As they gathered, upon Samuel’s instructions, at Mizpah, for that day that they were gathered for the purpose of restoring their community to relationship with the Lord, they fasted. “By turning from the needs of the body toward the needs of the soul, the community is able to see in much sharper relief its need for repentance and restoration.” The next statement makes a very pointed truth about our society. “In our own society, overfed yet spiritually malnourished as we have become, the recovery of such a practice may well be necessary for the community once again to come to this point.” (Emphasis mine) I have experienced, over the past couple of weeks, that denying my body food, as well as some other pleasures that are indulged, sharpens the focus on spiritual needs. Prayers have been heightened, and they were answered. I have come to see fasting as a very valuable discipline that has been lost, over time, in the modern community of the Church. The book offers this prayer:

“Father God, I am so used to satisfying my desires that it’s hard for me
to see that I am increasingly ruled by them. Help me to continue to delib-
erately turn away from my wants and toward you. In your name I pray. Amen.”


Pray Without Ceasing: A Thirty-One-Day Course, by Andrew Murray

DAY FOUR
What to Pray: For the Spirit of Holiness

“God is the Holy One. His people are a holy people. He says,
‘I am holy; I am the Lord that makes you holy.’ Christ prayed,
‘Sanctify them. Make them holy through your truth.’ Paul
prayed, ‘May God establish your hearts unblameable in holiness’
and ‘God sanctify you wholly.’
“Pray for all saints–God’s holy ones–throughout the church
that the Spirit of holiness may guide and direct them. Especially
pray for new converts. Pray for the Christians in your own neigh-
borhood or in your congregation. Pray for any you are especially
close to. Think of their special needs, weaknesses, or sins, and
pray that God will make them holy.”

How to Pray: Trusting in God’s Omnipotence

“Things that are impossible with men are possible with God.
Think of the things we ask for, some of which we think have little
likelihood of coming to pass or being granted us. We think of our
own insignificance, our own unworthiness. Why would God
answer our prayer? Prayer is not only wishing, or even asking,
but believing and accepting. Be still before God and ask Him that
you might know Him as the Almighty One. Leave your petitions
with Him who does the impossible.”


Father, as I pray this morning, I lift up prayers for the saints all over the world to be made holy by your grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit. May we, the Church, live holy lives by the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. I pray especially for those believers with whom we fellowship and worship every week. Lord, touch their lives. Give them power over the weaknesses, fears, and sins that may rule their lives. Show them your omnipotence in their lives as they live each day, trying to follow you. Teach us the possibilities that exist in faith with you. We do not wish, we do not even simply ask, but we plead; we beg; we entreat you; and we ask, believing! We believe, Lord, help our unbelief! Give us grace and faith to be still before you and know that you are the Almighty One, and help us to come to you, leaving our petitions with you “who does the impossible.”

I pray for this day, Lord, asking that Christi and I would have a good work day. Often, when we have a Monday holiday, the rest of the week seems much busier. Give us strength to face the week. I also pray that Christi might get some news today. I pray for Stephanie, that you would draw her closer to your heart today, teaching her wisdom from your Spirit.

I pray for the ongoing prayer ministry of The Exchange, that you would give me grace and wisdom to lead it, and that we would be faithful in praying for the needs that are brought to our attention.


Pray today, for the Spirit of holiness to come over the Church.

Grace and peace, friends.