A Time for Everything

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, the third of November, 2021.

May the peace of God reign in your heart today!

Day 23,246

Nine days until C’s birthday!

And we have a birthday gift on the way. Besides the fact that we are taking a trip to Indianapolis the following week (after her birthday), we are getting a new garage door opener soon. I’m pretty sure the one that is currently installed, and not working, is the original one, installed in 1999.

Of course, the next order of business, garage-wise, is getting room to put a car in there. I told C that wasn’t happening for her birthday.

Last night was a fine evening at the library. I got a full cart of books sorted and shelved, and then there weren’t any more in the hall to sort, so I spent the last hour walking the shelves looking for stray books. If we find books that were pulled off the shelves but not checked out (we do prefer that the patrons not attempt to re-shelve them), they are marked “used” in the system and placed in the shelving area for the next day. This tells the librarians that there was at least some interest in the materials . . . someone at least touched them.

Every so often, some “weeding” is done, in which a librarian marks material for removal/discard (the official term is “deaccession”), based on when the last time it was checked out. Marking items “used,” at least shows that there was some interest in them.

While I was there, I discovered, thanks to the help of one of the assistant librarians, that our library holds one copy of the 1963 film, The Haunting, so I checked it out. This black and white film is based on Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which I recently finished.

I just remembered that I forgot to post my current read, yesterday. I am currently reading The Divine Embrace, by Robert E. Webber, subtitled, “Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life.” I decided to dig deep into my “want to read” shelf on Goodreads. This was added to my list back in May of 2008. Seriously. That’s how far back my TBR list goes. I still had my copy of the book, too. So I’m reading it, now. I haven’t gotten very far into it, yet, but hope to make some serious progress over the next couple days.

I plan another trip to the grocery store, this morning, probably right after I finish the blog. I do believe it has finally quit raining for a while. I changed my mind. I’ve ordered Albertson’s for delivery, instead. Not leaving the house unless I have to.

Oh, and lest I forget, the Braves won the World Series, dominating last night’s game six with a score of 7-0.

Today is Cliché Day. I want all of you to get out there and give 110% today! Seize the day! And whatever you do, be sure and run upstairs when the chainsaw-wielding maniac is chasing you.

The word for today is maringouin, “a mosquito, especially a large swamp mosquito.” Why?? Why, dictionary.com, do you wish to put that image in my brain??

Today’s quote is from James Thurber, American author. “Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.”

Birthdays on November 3:

Stephen F. Austin, founder and colonizer of Texas, 1793-1836
Bob Feller, American HoF baseball pitcher, 1918-2010
Charles Bronson, American actor (Death Wish, White Buffalo), 1921-2003 (I met him once, in Colorado)
Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie (aka Lulu), Scottish singer (To Sir With Love), 1948 (73)
Dwight Evans, American baseball player (Boston Red Sox), 1951 (70)
Roseanne Barr, American actress and comedienne, 1952 (69)
Jim Cummings, American voice actor (Winnie the Pooh), 1952 (69)
Kate Capshaw, American actress (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), born in Fort Worth, TX, 1953 (68)
Dennis Miller, American comedian (Saturday Night Live), 1953 (68)
Stuart Goddard (aka Adam Ant), English rocker (Goody Two Shoes), 1954 (67)

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Be sober-minded;
Cast all your anxieties
On Him who loves you.
(1 Peter 5)

Open to me
the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
(Psalms 118:19 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that You have given me a thankful heart
2. that I am alive and breathing
3. for my job at the library
4. that there is a time and a season for every purpose under heaven
5. that You have given me a love for Your Word

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

ORDINARY TIME – WEEK TWENTY-FOUR – DAY FOUR

INVITATION

Our God forever,
who guides us till the end of time.
(Psalms 48:14 MSG)

As I pause in the quietness of the morning, interrupted only by the amusing cat next to me, who is pawing at the front of the computer, non-stop, I consider the love and grace of God Almighty, who condescends to even think about us. What are we that He is mindful of us? Yet He is, even to the point that He desires for the children to be brought to Him.

BIBLE SONG

Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may obey your precepts.
Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.
Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed.
(Psalms 119:129-136 NIV)

BIBLE READING

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV)

DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION

As I read these passages again, perhaps even out loud (in ancient times, Scripture was heard more than seen), I ponder how the Word of God has moved me, this morning. What has connected with my heart? What has my mind observed? I pray these things back to the Lord as I turn my thoughts toward Him and enjoy His presence.

The celebration of the love of God’s Word continues in Psalm 119. I love the thought in verse 131. “I open my mouth and pant, longing for Your commands.” Our desire for the Word of God in our lives should supersede any other desire. Reading and meditating on God’s Word should be like breathing to us, just as prayer should be. The love of one flows directly out of the love of the other, perhaps even feeding off of each other.

I love, also, the idea in verse 132, the the Lord always has mercy on those who love His name. Just as, I believe, all who love His name should be sorrowful when His Word is not heeded or obeyed (verse 136).

There is much love and appreciation for the passage from Ecclesiastes. Most people my age are familiar with the song, written by Pete Seeger, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Here’s a beautiful version by him and Judy Collins.

I do love the wisdom of these words. There is, indeed, a time for each of these. The wisdom comes in knowing when those times are. When are the times to weep and mourn; when are the times to laugh and dance? There is way too much tearing down, right now, in our world. We need to do more building up. I love to embrace; I’m a hugger. But the last year has been a time to refrain from embracing. Probably the most difficult is knowing when is the time to speak and time to be silent.

For many years, I’ve loved the last line of the song, “a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” But there will not be everlasting peace until we are Home. But we could certainly be striving a little more for it.

Father, there is, indeed, a time for everything. I pray for wisdom to know when those times are. Help me to be, though, one who works more for peace then fighting. I pray that I might be willing to be silent when silence is needed, but also give me the right words when speaking is called for. Help me to be one who builds up more than tearing down. Thank You for the love You have placed in my heart, love for Your Word, love for You. I pray that the thirst for Your Word will always continue, driving me deeper and deeper into it. I pray with great sorrow, that Your Word and commands would be revered more, in this world, today.

I lift up a prayer, this morning, specifically for my aunt, uncle, and cousins. You know the circumstances, Father. Healing is needed and desired, physically and beyond. I pray for Your intervention.

"God for all time,
assure me that no matter the moment,
I belong to You.
Whatever the season -
whether in cold stillness,
budding brightness,
full bloom,
or loss and decay -
I trust all my times are in Your hands.
In my faithful Savior's name,
amen."

BLESSING

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.”
(Matthew 5:10 MSG)

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
(Isaiah 58:8-10 ESV)

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:14-16 ESV)

May Your light shine in and through me, Father, as “borrowed light.”

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Break forth, like the dawn!
Light! Shine out in the darkness!
Gloom! Be as noonday!
(Isaiah 58)

Grace and peace, friends.

“Do Not Fear, Only Believe”

Today is Thursday, March 15, 2018. The Ides of March. Day 21,917.

17 days until Resurrection Sunday.

Mark Twain (not his birthday) said, “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” The Quotations Page

The word for today is dekko, a British slang noun which means, “a look or glance.”

The pool heater technician did not show yesterday. I received a call, around 4:30 PM, saying that they had gotten behind and would not make it. My “appointment” was revised to be from 12:00 to 5:00 PM today. Not really happy about that, but what can you do? I guess I won’t be going to see A Wrinkle in Time today, after all. We shall see. I need to practice my songs for Saturday’s Night of Worship, anyway.

We finished up our Redbox movie watching last night, watching Goodbye Christoper Robin. I swear I was crying for the last thirty minutes of the movie, if not more. The story, of course, is based on the real life of A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, who is featured, along with his bear, Winnie the Pooh, in the books that are named after the famous bear. While there are some happy moments in the film, it is far from a happy film. The relationships between Milne, Christopher Robin, and his mother, are strained, at best. In fact, his mother, Daphne (played by Margot Robbie, the only person I recognized), is portrayed as a pretty horrible person.

All that being said, I truly enjoyed the movie. Maybe “enjoyed” is not the right word. I liked it. I appreciated it. It gave me a new understanding and appreciation for some of my favorite children’s stories. I’ve been a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh for decades. The problem is, the stories pretty much ruined Christopher Robin’s life. I won’t say much more about it, here. If anyone reading this is a fan of Winnie the Pooh, I recommend this movie. One interesting bit of trivia: C.R. never took one penny of the money that was earned by the sale of any Winnie the Pooh books/stories. He didn’t want it.

I’ve got two more days of vacation. I’m sure a large portion of it will be spent in front of the PS4, but perhaps some other things will be done, as well. I will definitely practice some songs on the keyboard. Perhaps I will get the trombone out today or tomorrow, and start getting some playing done for Monday’s return to band practice. We don’t have any music to practice, yet, but I’ve got tons of trombone music that I can play, not to mention daily warmups and flexibility exercises. Lip flexibility. Lips. I don’t, like, do splits while playing the trombone or anything like that.

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

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 
He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! 
My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. 
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! 
They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah. 
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! 
Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm 57

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Mark 5:36

“Do not fear, only believe.” Five words. Seven syllables. The middle line of a haiku. A central truth of the Gospel. And, for some reason, a command that we find difficult.

So often I feel like the father of the demon-possessed child who encountered Jesus. Also recorded in Mark. Interesting.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:34

“I believe; help my unbelief!” Perhaps, he might have more honestly said, “I want to believe!” Either way, that father got his prayer granted.

“Do not fear, only believe.” Five words that can change a life. My life, your life, anyone’s life.

Think about what you fear today. Financial problems. Relationship issues. Marital problems. Children problems, grown or not. Health issues. The context of Mark 5:36 is that of the synagogue ruler, Jairus, asking Jesus to come heal his daughter. Jesus is slightly delayed by the woman who sneaked up behind him and touched the hem of his garment, and was healed. When they arrive, people come and tell Jairus, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” (Verse 35) Jesus’s response: “Do not fear, only believe.”

The girl was dead! Would most of us have given up hope at that point?

“Do not fear, only believe.”

“I believe; help my unbelief!”

Father, what more relevant prayer could I offer up, now, than, “I believe; help my unbelief!” There are characteristics in my life that need to be changed, or even eliminated. “I believe; help my unbelief!” Jesus tells me to love and serve my brothers and sisters as you loved us. “I believe; help my unbelief!” I seem to have this idea that, someday, it will all just fall together. But my favorite author tells me different. And Jesus tells me different. I have to do. I have to act. I have to believe. “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.

Strength In Oneness

Good morning. Today is Friday, January 18, 2013. Did I mention that it’s Friday?

Stephanie’s doctor visit went well, yesterday. The doctor even said he would prescribe her Wellbutrin for her, because we’ve been having issues with the psychiatrist and Medicaid. That helps a lot! He was proud of her for losing so much weight over the last year, as well. Speaking of weight, I’ve lost seven pounds so far this week. Had a good workout last night, too. I tried the Stairmaster for the first time. I lasted six minutes. It kicked my butt. Back to the elliptical, and I’m not ashamed. I gained a new respect for the people I see on that beast every time.

Aww…today is “National Winnie the Pooh Day.” I love Pooh and all the Pooh stories. Must read them today.

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1871, “King Wilhelm of Prussia was crowned Kaiser of the Germans.” Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had labored for over six years for this time, when all German states would be unified under a single empire led by Prussia. There had been three wars: Denmark in 1864, Austria in 1866, and France in 1870.

Today’s birthday is A.A. Milne, born on this date in 1882. That explains why today is “National Winnie the Pooh Day.” A.A. Milne is the author of the original Pooh stories. Honorable mention goes to Jason Segel, born on this date in 1980. He plays Marshall on How I Met Your Mother.


Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Psalm 96:1
With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes. Psalm 119:145
Father, I pray for a glimpse of you this morning, as I read and meditate on your word.


Today, I’m reading Isaiah 19:16-25.
16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them.
17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.
18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border.
20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them.
21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them.
22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,
25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

After all of the things spoken of in the preceding verses, the Egyptians will turn to the Lord and be blessed. They will even build an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land (v 19). Even Assyria will be blessed at this time, as there will be a major highway connecting the two nations, and they will worship together. Israel will join together with them all.


Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “I Am With You Always.” The scripture reference is Matthew 28:16-20.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

When Jesus had been resurrected, he first appeared to the women, telling them to instruct the disciples to go to Galilee. They did as they were told, and Jesus appeared to them, as he promised he would. In this short passage, Jesus first declares that he has all authority in heaven and on earth. He then passes along the authority to his disciples to make other disciples. But he does even more. “He promises to be with them (Immanuel) as the divine power, presence, and Wisdom of God until the close of the age.” The Gospel closes out with Jesus as God’s wisdom and presence, dwelling within his people, guarding and guiding them. We, in turn, are called to send out that call to others.

Jesus is present with us today, just as he promised. He is present with us as he dwells within us, by the power of the Holy Spirit. But he is also present in greater power when we gather together, worshiping him together. It is said that there is strength in numbers. This is true. But when believers gather together in Christ, there is something more going on. At that point, there is strength in “Oneness.” The strength is not so much in the numbers as it is in the single One who resides within each of us.


Jesus, I praise you that you are still with us today, even as you promised you would be. Your presence is in my life as you form and live your life within me. You told me a while back that the characteristics of the beatitudes are more than just an ideal for me to live by; they are your life in me, your characteristics that should flow out of me as you live your life in me. I depend on you to live through me. I do not try to live this life; rather, I try to let you live it. I praise you that, when many of us gather together, whether it be in our worship celebrations or our small group meetings, there is power in the Oneness that happens when we come together. As we merge our personalities together with yours, there is an extraordinary, supernatural power that occurs. May we look for that each time we gather, sense it, feel it, and then act on it. You have called us to make more disciples. May we, your Church, be faithful to obey that command.

I pray for this day. I pray, as always, that you would heal Christi’s pain. I also pray that she will have a good work day today, in the aftermath of layoffs that occurred yesterday. I pray for a sense of comfort and peace in spite of yesterday’s news. I pray for Stephanie’s day, as well. May you bring peace to her today, inspiring her to look to you for everything. And lastly, I pray that I might have a good work day today, free from anxiety. May I project your image to all around me today, and bring your peace to the environment around me.


There are many things that the presence of Jesus brings to our lives. Think on those today as you live your life. What does Jesus bring to you?

Grace and peace, friends.

The Authority of One

Good morning. It’s Sunday morning, October 14, 2012. Today is “National Dessert Day.” We plan to celebrate by having another piece of pie.

On this date in 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots, went on trial for conspiring against Elizabeth I of England.
On this date in 1884, George Eastman received a patent for his new paper-strip photographic film.
On this date in 1908, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers 2-0 to win the World Series. It is the last time they have won a World Series, to this date. Curse that billygoat.
On this date in 1926, Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne, is first published.
On this date in 1947, Captain Chuck Yeager flew faster than the speed of sound.
Birthdays today include William Penn,1644, Dwight D Eisenhower, 1890, Lillian Gish, 1893, EE Cummings, 1894, Roger Moore (the man who would be Bond),1927, Cliff Richard, 1940, Justin Hayward, 1946 (Moody Blues), Harry Anderson, 1952, Thomas Dolby, 1958, Joe Girardi, 1964.


This is our last morning in Glen Rose, for this trip. It has been a wonderful weekend, celebrating 27 years together. Thanks go out to Rachel and Justin for staying at our house with Steph this weekend. You helped us have a very special time.


Father, I pray for some revelation of you, this morning, on this last morning of near-perfect serenity.


Today I’m reading Psalm 119:137-144. Verses 142-144 say this: Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true. Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight. Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
Indeed, I seek understanding, that I might live.


Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “The Key to the Missionary.” The scripture reference is Matthew 28:18-19. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”

“The basis of missionary appeals is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the heathen.” Jesus never said the heathen would be lost if we do not go!! He simply said to go make disciples, based on his authority, not their need.

In verse 16, we see that the disciples went to a specific place, to which Jesus directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped. “If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him for myself, and how to get alone with Him; I must take time to worship the Being Whose Name I bear.” Jesus says “Come unto me.” Before we can go, we must worship; we must know him.

“Go simply means live.” In Acts 1:8, Jesus did not say, “Go into Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria…” He said, “You shall be witnesses” in these places. The means of the going is his business, not ours.

It matters not where we are placed; ours is simply to abide in him. Jesus does not assist us in our efforts; he is our Sovereign, our power, our authority; he is our effort!


Father, I want to thank you, once again, for this wonderful place! It is so peaceful, so serene. It is so easy to seek you here! Thank you for allowing us to get away like this.

I pray that my “effort” to serve you do not consist of me “trying,” then hoping for your assistance. You have told us to be witnesses wherever we are. I would be your witness where you have placed me. You placed me in a position of prayer. I pray that my prayers are true and effective, meaning that I want to only be praying what is your will. I want to know you; I want to see your face! I want my heart to be wrapped up in yours.

What is the “mission?” What is a “missionary?” Lord, we have struggled with those terms for centuries, and still don’t really agree on them. I believe the mission is to know you and make you known. I believe we are all missionaries, not just the ones who go far away. Help us all to understand our mission. Help us all to know you, for that is truly the key to the missionary.

I pray for this day. Keep us safe as we travel home today. May we be renewed and refreshed for the weeks ahead. May we continue to grow in the knowledge of you, and in your grace. I pray for the worship celebrations at our church this morning, and for our brother, Jacob, as he preaches today. May his words be your words, filled with your life.


We are witnesses wherever Christ has placed us, and our mission is based on the authority of One, not the needs of many.

Grace and peace, friends.