The Cry of the Poor

Today is Friday (finally!), June 8, 2018. Day 22,002.

Nine days until Father’s Day!

“There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.” ~ Will Rogers, 1879-1935, The Quotations Page

The word for today is whelm, a verb which means, “to turn (something, such as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something : cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect.”

The Red Sox and Rangers both lost, last night. The Sox to the Tigers, 7-2, and the Rangers to the Astros, 5-2.

Time is getting away from me, this morning, so I need to move on.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold, and there was none among his tribes who stumbled. 
Egypt was glad when they departed, for dread of them had fallen upon it. 
He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light by night. 
They asked, and he brought quail, and gave them bread from heaven in abundance. 
He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river. 
For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant. 
So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing. 
And he gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples’ toil, 
that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the LORD!

Psalm 105:37-45

“Egypt was glad when they departed.” Indeed, at least the people were. The Pharaoh, as we know, changed his mind. But I’m sure those people were truly glad to get those Israelites out of there. So glad that Israel was able to plunder Egypt on their way out.

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
Proverbs 21:13

Father, you have been gracious and generous to us, blessing us beyond what we ever imagined. We certainly still have needs, but you have met all of our needs through your provision in our lives. Help us to remain faithful and to have faith in your future grace to meet any needs that will arise. And in that faith, help us also to be attentive to the “cry of the poor” around us. Show us how we can help and who we can help.
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.

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Peace

Today is Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Day 21,986.

Five days until Memorial Day.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~ Will Rogers (1879-1935) The Quotations Page

The word for today is flubdub, a noun which means, “pretentious nonsense or show; airs.”

C and I made it to the Y, last night, even though we didn’t really want to. That’s a big key, I think. Going even when you don’t feel like it. There are some nights when we give in to that, and don’t go. But last night, we made ourselves go, and we will be better for it.

The Red Sox beat the Rays in the first game of their series, 4-2, as Chris Sale got win number five. Mookie Betts hit his league-leading sixteenth home run to drive that win.

The Rangers beat the Yankees!! The Rangers beat the Yankees!! The Rangers beat the Yankees!!! 6-4 behind the pitching of Cole Hamels, who got his third win. Profar started the scoring in the bottom of the first with a three-run homer.

This means that the Sox are back on top of the AL East, as well as the whole MLB, by a half game, with a record of 33-15. They will continue their series with the Rays tonight, while the Rangers have another shot at the Yankees tonight.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 
Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 
Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 
For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

Another beautiful praise psalm. I remember a hymn we used to sing when I was a child. “Serve the Lord with Gladness,” by the great B.B McKinney.

“Serve the Lord with gladness in our works and ways.
Come before His presence with our songs of praise.
Unto Him our Maker, we would pledge anew
Life’s supreme devotion to service true.

Serve the Lord with gladness, thankful all the while
For His tender mercies, for His loving smile.
Blessed truth enduring, always just the same.
We will serve with gladness and praise His name.

Serve the Lord with gladness, this shall be our theme.
As we walk together, in His love supreme.
Listening, ever listening for the still small voice.
His sweet Will so precious, will be our choice.

(Chorus)
Serve Him with gladness, Enter His courts with song.
To our Creator, true praises belong.
Great is His mercy, wonderful is His name.
We gladly serve Him, His great love proclaim.”

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
John 14:27

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:5-7

Peace. The Lord has promised us peace. Sure, there are conditions, just as there are to all of his promises. But if we fulfill those conditions, the promises are good and faithful.

“Peace, bring it all to peace
The storms surround me
Let it break at Your name

Still, call the sea to still
The rage in me to still
Every wave at Your name

Jesus, Jesus. You make the darkness tremble
Jesus, Jesus. You silence fear
Jesus, Jesus. You make the darkness tremble
Jesus, Jesus.”

Thank you, O my Father, for the peace that passes all understanding!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

In A Mirror Dimly

Today is Sunday, February 11, 2018. Day 21,885.

Three days until Ash Wednesday.

Will Rogers (1879-1935, not his birthday) said, “The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.”
The Quotations Page

The word for today, from Dictionary.com, is berceuse, a noun which means, “a cradlesong; lullaby.”

As suspected yesterday, neither one of us made it to church this morning. It’s hard to tell if C feels better. She said her coughing hurts more, this morning, and her temp was 98.8, which is not high, but not normal, either. As for me, I woke up with snorting and coughing, but am breathing a little better now. I still have not experienced any fever. In fact, my temp has not even reached 98.6. I’m not sure what is up with that.

Hopefully, C will feel like going to work tomorrow, but, at this point, it’s impossible to tell. I just talked to her again. She says she feels worse than she did, yesterday. Ugh.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, 
but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming. 
The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright; 
their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 
Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. 
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. 
The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; 
they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance. 
But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away. 
The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives; 
for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

Psalm 37:12-22

“Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.” (Verse 16) Too often, we look at the wrong things. We see the prosperity of the wicked, and we complain. But the complaint comes because we have our eyes on the “stuff of earth.” Where is our treasure? Where your treasure is, there will your heart be, also. (See Matthew 6:21)

(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)God’s Love Has no Limits

“The doctrine of the Incarnation would conflict with what we know of this vast universe only if we knew also that there were other rational species in it who had, like us, fallen, and who needed redemption in the same mode, and that they had not been vouchsafed it. But we know none of these things. it may be full of life that needs no redemption. It may be full of life that has been redeemed. It may be full of things quite other than life which satisfy the Divine Wisdom in fashions one cannot conceive. We are in no position to draw up maps of God’s psychology, and prescribe limits to His interests. We would not do so even for a man whom we knew to be greater than ourselves. The doctrines that God is Love and that He delights in men, are positive doctrines, not limiting doctrines. He is not less than this. What more He may be, we do not know; we know only that He must be more than we can conceive. it is to be expected that His creation should be, in the main, unintelligible to us.” (From Dogma and the Universe)

This is quite a ponderous reading. But I agree with what I see as the main thrust. We cannot pretend to know things about God that are unknowable. Oddly, this reading reminded me of a Larry Norman song. In his song, “U.F.O,” he wrote these lyrics:

and if there’s life on other planets
then i’m sure that He must know
and He’s been there once already
and has died to save their souls

You see, we just don’t know, do we? And if we make declarations that we can’t know, we’re rather foolish, don’t you think? It’s okay to speculate. It’s one reason I have loved Science Fiction and Fantasy ever since my father first introduced me to the writings of Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov, and so on. We very well may be on the only planet in the universe that has any form of life on it. But we don’t know that, and we won’t know that until we see Him face to face. And then? It won’t matter at all, will it?

Father, I praise you for the mystery of your creation. There is much that we know, and it is beautiful and wonderful. There is even more, though, that we do not know, and besides being beautiful and wonderful, it is so very mysterious. And I love that. I love that there is mystery, things that we will not and cannot ever know, both about you and your creation. At least not until we cross that veil and, as Paul says, “I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). For now, I am satisfied to “see in a mirror dimly,” as long as, in that mirror, I can get at least a partial glimpse of you. I long for the day when that glimpse becomes face to face beauty and wonder, and all mysteries are made clear.
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.

What You See Is What You Get

“Anyone entering one of these buildings expecting entertainment or relief from a dull and boring life is not likely to come back a second time.”

Today is Saturday, November 4, 2017. Day 21,786.

Daylight Saving Time ends tonight (2:00 AM Sunday)!

Will Rogers, who was born on this date in 1879 (died 1935), said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” (Thanks to my cousin Al for that one.) He also said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is stridulate, a verb, meaning, “to make a shrill creaking noise by rubbing together special bodily structures — used especially of male insects (such as crickets or grasshoppers).”

Today is World Numbat Day. What’s a numbat, you say? Well you might ask that, because that’s the same thing I said. I don’t recall every hearing of a numbat until today. I’ve heard of wombats. I’ve heard of Numfars.

(I have it on good authority that “Numfar” is none other than Joss Whedon, himself.)
Anyway, I’ve not heard of a numbat until today. The numbat is also known as a “banded anteater, marsupial anteater, or walpurti.” It is a native to Western Australia.

Kind of cute, don’t you think?

C seems better this morning. She wasn’t feeling great yesterday evening, but seems much more alert and happy, this morning. I believe the pain is gradually getting better, and her mobility is increasing. She is still using the walker, and probably will be for a bit, and I’m still helping her with things like getting her cold water machine hooked up and covers straightened, as well as bringing her water, coffee, food, etc., when necessary. This afternoon, I’ll be doing some chores, such as dishes, laundry, trash, and so one. I would say that the recovery is going very well, thus far.

People are bringing us food, which is different. Of course, we haven’t been in a situation to need anything like, and aren’t necessarily in that situation now. But it’s a ministry of the church, and we need to allow people to fulfill that ministry when they want to. Serving is sometimes an easy thing to do; allowing oneself to be served is not always so easy. We like feeling independent. But, in truth, we really are not. That’s one of the beautiful things about the church.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Psalm 103:20-22
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. 
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

Psalm 5:1-3
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

Isaiah 26:3; 30:15
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
Psalm 33:11
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. 
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 7:9-17
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
Psalm 33:11
O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? 
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 
who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 
in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 
who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 15:1-5
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
Psalm 33:11
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
Isaiah 9:2

(From Practice Resurrection)

(Pages 113-115)

Now that Paul has dealt with the idea of individualism, he moves on to the church. “the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Says, Peterson, “Church summarizes all that God does, all that Christ is, all that we are in Christ. Church comprises all that is involved in living the mature life in Christ.”

This is a pretty important idea, here. We don’t become mature in Christ by taking a class or reading a book. Church is not something that can be experienced discreetly. “There is far more to the church than meets the eye.”

For the most part, what meets the eye is a building. We seem church buildings on our neighborhood streets. Living in north central Texas, we see church buildings quite frequently, and many times next door to each other. They usually look like churches.

But not always.

Either way, there is usually a sign out front that identifies it as a church.

If you’re like me, and you are, sometimes, you were brought to church as a child. I was probably in church as soon as my parents could get me there. I’m what they call a “lifer.” I was on the “cradle roll.” And, unlike a lot of my friends, I’m still attending church. Not the one I grew up in, of course, but still going, still active. And, with the exception of about six months, when I was mad at the Baptists, I’ve been a “Baptist” all my life. The current church doesn’t have the word “Baptist” in it, but it is, essentially, Baptist.

Others don’t make their way into a church building until later in life, sometimes out of curiosity, or at the invitation of friends. “We go to this church most Sundays. We get to know the names of the people who go there; some of them become friends.” We sing; we pray; we take The Supper. Sometimes there are baptisms.

For many others, church is a place where they only go for weddings of funerals, and then, only because of love for the people involved, or to show their respects to those who have passed on.

What takes place inside these buildings is, for the most part, pretty ordinary. No training is required (although there might be some that are more ritualistic, where the outsider might feel a bit lost), no skill is needed. You don’t really have to know how to sing to “make a joyful noise.” It is just “people praying and singing and listening, exchanging vows, being blessed, receiving Jesus in the bread and wine, celebrating marriage, honoring the dead.”

Here’s an important statement, though. “Anyone entering one of these buildings expecting entertainment or relief from a dull and boring life is not likely to come back a second time. Anyone entering a church hoping to see a miracle or have a vision will almost certainly leave disappointed. . . . What you see is what you get. And what you see is painfully ordinary.”

Father, I thank you for the ordinariness of our church. I thank you that you have moved us away from trying to entertain people or thrill them. Your presence is thrilling enough for me. And if someone doesn’t come back because we didn’t entertain them, we’re okay with that. However, keep us faithful to preach, teach, and live out your message in Christ, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.”
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.

What’s the Rush?

Today is Wednesday, August 9, 2017. Day 21,699. Only ten more days until S’s and J’s birthday!!

Quote of the Day

“A fool and his money are soon elected.” ~ Will Rogers
BrainyQuote

Word of the Day

Garble ~ “to sift impurities from;” “to alter or distort as to create a wrong impression or change the meaning;” “to introduce textual error into (a message) by inaccurate encipherment, transmission, or decipherment.” An example of garbled lyrics would be, “Excuse me while I kiss this guy,” instead of “Excuse me while I kiss the sky,” or “There’s a bathroom on the right,” instead of “There’s a bad moon on the rise.”

Today is one of my favorite days. It is Book Lovers Day. I’m not sure where I got my great love for books. Oh, who am I kidding? I know exactly where I got it. Just look at my mother’s house! So many books; so little time!!

The floor is shaping up nicely! Yesterday, they finished the hallway and big “family room,” or whatever it’s called.

I’m not sure, but I think the plan today is the hallway and two bedrooms in the front part of the house.

Tonight is our normal bowling night, but we aren’t bowling tonight, as our team mates are in Fort Davis. We plan to make up tonight’s games next Monday night.

The Red Sox beat the Rays, 2-0, last night, behind some great pitching by Chris Sale, and the Yankees lost to the Boo Jays, so the Sox are now up by four games in the AL East. Meanwhile, the Rangers lost a close one to the Mets, 5-4. The Astros lost to the Other Sox, so the Rangers remain 18 games out in fourth place. Only four games out of the wild card race, though, which is currently occupied by the Yankees and the Rays. And Kansas City.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Psalm 149:2, 4
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts!
Psalm 125:4
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!

Psalm 72:18-19
May the LORD give you increase, you and your children!
Psalm 115:14
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 
therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Matthew 9:35-37

(From The President’s Devotional)

And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 
And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 
And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 
Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

Luke 13:6-9

One thing this parable teaches us is to “give our strategies time to play out.” Better yet, give God’s strategies time to play out.

God’s plans usually don’t happen the way we would like them to. “The yield is not always immediate, but there may still be a harvest on the horizon.”

God is patient. Sometimes, (most of the time?) his plans “unfold over months and years.” There may be things that he has planted deep within us that need more time to become fruitful.

Never give up on God; never give up on yourself. If you are struggling with wondering why God doesn’t seem to be working in your life right now, stay faithful and wait. Many of us know the popular verses:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 
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 40:28-31

Also, remember the words of Dallas Willard: “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

Father, give me the same kind of patience that you have. Just let me know that you are there, working. I don’t need to see immediate results. I just need to know that you are there. May it be your timing and not mine. Give me acceptance of that.
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.

If the Lord Says So, Too

Today is June 1, 2017. Day 21,630. TWO DAYS until our Oregon vacation!!

“There is nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in.” ~ Will Rogers
The Quotations Page

Valedictory ~ an address or statement of farewell or leave-taking. I find this interesting because I always thought it had something to do with being at the top of your graduating class. So, on a whim, I decided to look up “salutatory.” Would you believe it means “an address or statement of welcome or greeting.” Huh. The things you learn.

Today is Go Barefoot Day. Unfortunately, they will not allow me to do that at work. It’s also Say Something Nice Day. They will allow me to do that. If you really want to be “special” today, go barefoot and say nice things.

We had a grand time at bowling, last night. There are somewhere around twelve teams in this summer league, and we got paired up with another couple who appear to be close to our age. They were very nice, and somewhat quiet, which we like. We bowled against a team of guys that were all quite good. In fact, one of them is a “scratch” bowler, meaning that his average is higher than the average from which the handicap is derived. They were also quite friendly. We felt very much at home in this group. We bowled pretty well, too. C bowled 141, 145, 159, for a total of 445. She set an average of 148. I bowled 148, 160, and 168, for a total of 476, setting an average of 158. I was actually surprised that I did that well. It’s also cool that we both improved with each game.

The really great thing is that I can walk this morning. 😀

The Rangers (or should I say Sam Dyson) lost in the tenth inning last night, to the Rays, 7-5. The Red Sox held off the Other Sox, beating them 4-1. The Yankees lost, so the Sox are now only two games out of first place!

I got the results from my bloodwork yesterday (did I mention that I left work early Tuesday to get a physical?). Everything was good except for the blood sugar readings. My A1C is over 8, which is bad, and my average glucose reading over the last three months is way too high, so they are increasing my medications for that. Cholesterol and everything else was fine. That was suprising.

Today is the one year anniversary of my mother-in-law’s passing.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.

Psalm 96:2-4
Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Psalm 69:16
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation
Psalm 18:46
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
Psalm 104:32
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 
And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 
And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.

Acts 2:1-3

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

The verses were quoted in today’s Daily Guideposts reading, but I’m not going to talk about the reading. I’m just going to leave the verses there, and hopefully remember them to meditate on them, during the day.

Proverbs 3:5-6 have been “hidden in my heart” for decades. They are great verses (not to insinuate that other verses are not great), and worthy of our meditation. Very simple. Trust in God. Don’t trust in your own understanding of things, because, unlike God, your understanding is not perfect. Acknowledge God in everything you do. The result will be a straight walk with him.

Proverbs 16:9 cautions us that, while it is okay to make plans, it is the Lord who finalizes things.

Father, help me to remember to think about these verse today. Help me to remember the truths represented therein. Help me to trust you and not me. Help me to acknowledge you in all my ways, so that you can make my path straight. And then help me to remember that all my plans depend on the simple phrase, “If the Lord says so, too.”
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.

The Least of These

Today is Thursday (pre-Friday), May 11, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~ Will Rogers

Word of the Day

Saudade ~ (in Portuguese folk culture) a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent.

Today is Twilight Zone Day. Here’s a brief clip of one of my favorite episodes, staring William Shatner.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! 
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Psalm 95:6-7
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.
Psalm 101:6
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 
  For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. 

Psalm 33:20-22

(From The President’s Devotional)

“‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
Matthew 25:35-40

“Martin’s soul grew glad. He crossed himself, put on his spectacles, and began reading the Gospel just where it had opened; and at the top of the page he read: ‘I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.’ And at the bottom of the page he read: ‘Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me’ (Matt. XXV). And Martin understood that his dream had come true; and that the Saviour had really come to him that day, and he had welcomed him.” (Leo Tolstoy, “Where Love Is, God Is”)

There are people in this world who are looking for a Savior to come to them. Jesus has shown us how to be his “avatars” in this world.

“Nourishment to the hungry. Water to the thirsty. Shelter to the stranger. Covering to the naked. Healing for the sick. Comfort for the prisoner. Our King declares, ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, remind me of these truths as I walk through this world. Keep my eyes open for opportunities to serve you by being your representative and spokesperson on earth.
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.