Plug Into the Current

Today is Wednesday, the twenty-ninth of September, 2021.

May the peace of God reign in your heart today!

Day 23,211

Thirteen days until our 36th wedding anniversary (y’all pray for me! I need a gift idea, stat!)

It’s hard to believe there’s only one more day in September. I’m quite happy about that, though. Not that I have any dislike for September (I’m not a fan of Greenday, though). I mean, it’s not like it’s February or anything. But I love October. It’s by far my favorite month of the year, and not just because it’s the month I got married in. As my new friend at the library has said several times, October should be everyone’s favorite month.

Yesterday was a good day (as pretty much all of them have been). I did get some validation from one of the assistant librarians who said that I handled the situation Monday evening very well. My four hours of shelving were quite uneventful, as they normally would be. I really like that I’m dividing my time between three different departments at the library. For one thing, it gives me diversity of activities. And for another, it gets me more educated about more facets of the library. And since, while shelving, I will frequently get into the children’s (or “Youth” as they call it there) section, I am even getting some knowledge about that section, as well. I always figure that the more you know, the more valuable you are.

The time in the computer center was quiet, for the most part. We had to assist a few people who needed to print things, and there was one patron who had trouble getting the PC attachment to read his USB drive. I say “we” because, as has been the case thus far, a veteran aide was in there with me. That’s the “new friend” referenced above. Beginning this Friday I will be the only part timer in the computer center for the whole day. Of course, the manager will be in there with me on Friday. We are thinking it will probably be kind of slow, this first Friday. Partially because it is the first Friday open since pre-pandemic days, and there is a chance of rain/thunderstorms on Friday, as well.

Today, I work from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, in shelving. I like shelving. While it is the most physically demanding portion of my responsibilities (lots of bending and stretching . . . you would be amazed at the number of books that get checked out from the top or bottom shelves! Also more walking, as you can imagine), it is very quiet and I am normally alone, which I also like. Just imagine . . . alone with all those books! Needless to say, my TBR (To Be Read) list on Goodreads is growing by leaps and bounds. Yesterday, I just kind of looked around and thought, “I want to read ALL the books. All of them.” Which is, of course, silly. There are many of them that I have no interest in whatsoever.

Except for the fact that they are books.

C is feeling a little better this morning. I don’t remember if I wrote anything about that yesterday, but she had a rough night Monday night and was feeling pretty awful all day, yesterday. We think she overdid on Monday when she went out for her walk. Too far and too fast, probably. Bless her heart, she things she is Superwoman. And while my opinion of her probably equates with that, she is not, in fact, immortal or invincible. She am woman, and she am strong, but she am not invicible.

Bonus points if you got that.

Today is World Heart Day. Be educated about heart disease. But also spread the “hearts” (love).

The word for today is cordial, an adjective that means what this world needs a lot more of, these days, “courteous and gracious.”

Today’s quote is from Kin Hubbard, an American journalist: “The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.”

Significant birthdays on September 29:

Pompey the Great, Roman political and military leader, 106-48 BC
Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish author (Don Quixote), 1547-1616
Enrico Fermi, Italian-American nuclear physicist, 1901-1954
Gene Autry, American cowboy singer, 1907-1998
Bum Phillips, American football coach (Houston Oilers), 1923-2013
Stan Berenstain, American children's author (some books about some bears), 1923-2005
Jerry Lee Lewis, American rock and roll piano player and singer (Great Balls of Fire), 1935 (86)
Tommy Boyce, American songwriter (Last Train to Clarksville, The Monkees), 1939-1994
Jean-Luc Ponty, French jazz-fusion electric violinist, 1942 (79)
Madeline Kahn, American actress (Young Frankenstein), 1942-1999
Mark Farner, American musician (Grand Funk Railroad), 1948 (73)
Steve Busby, American MLB pitcher (KC Royals) and play by play broadcaster (Texas Rangers), 1949 (71)


Power of Spirit.
Live I an empowered life?
O, Wild Goose, chase me!
(Inspired by a blog by Carolyn Arends)

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
(1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the unpredictable, disruptive power of the Holy Spirit in our lives; may we avail ourselves more readily to You
2. for Your Word that has come to us through the writers of Scripture; not the "word of men," but Your Word, at work in us
3. that You have given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1)
4. for songs sung to the tune of Your glory, to the rhythms of Your praise
5. for power of Your "arm" and "right hand"

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



All together now—applause for God!
Sing songs to the tune of his glory, set glory to the rhythms of his praise.
(Psalms 66:1-2 MSG)

During this quiet time, I pause to reflect on the Holy Spirit, supplier of all the power I need to live this life. Why do I lack? I have all that I need. If I lack, it is because I do not seek it (the power); I do not allow it to fill me. Fill me, Lord Jesus!


Your arm is endowed with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.
They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
(Psalms 89:13-18 NIV)


After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.
When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”
Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.
(1 Samuel 18:1-9 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I look for ways in which Your Spirit has moved me, through Your Word. I ask Your Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers.

There is nothing negative in today’s passage from Psalms. The power comes from the “arm” of God, from His “right hand.” These are, of course, anthropomorphisms, as God is fully Spirit and has no arms and hands. But we find, in Scripture, that God even uses such terms about Himself, as we would not be able to even begin to comprehend Him otherwise.

Verse 14 paints a beautiful picture. The foundations of the throne of God are righteousness and justice. Therefore, they should also be the foundation of our lives. They should be the foundation of any earthly government. What goes before Him, or proceeds out of Him are love and faithfulness.

This, to me, is beautiful. One might think that, from a foundation of righteousness and justice, legalism and strictness might come forth; worked out in acts of violent authoritarianism. But this is not the case. Out of the foundation of righteousness and justice flow love and faithfulness.

And those who are walking in the light of these things, in the light of the presence of God, are blessed; they rejoice in His name “all day long,” and celebrate His righteousness.

Have you ever known anyone like this? I have. At least one person comes to mind, and I’m sure that if I sat and pondered it a while, some others might as well. Another one just popped up. The first one is our favorite teacher from R’s days at Glenview Christian School, Julie Brancadora. C and I have both agreed, numerous times, that we have never known anyone who exhibited the Spirit of God the way she does. Another that I thought of was a favorite Sunday School teacher from my childhood days. Miss Juanita, we called her. My memory is fuzzy, of course, but from what I remember, she lived and walked in the Spirit of Jesus.

My heart’s desire is to be like this. I don’t want to imitate Julie or Miss Juanita, though. I want to imitate Christ. People like them inspire me, but to imitate them would not be proper. I do realize Paul does encourage people to imitate him, just as he imitates Christ, so I guess that’s okay. But I would rather imitate Jesus directly, and let the other humans simply be my inspiration. Perhaps I am also simply wrestling with semantics.

This, I believe, also goes back to the question of power that is raised in my Haiku at the beginning. Do I live an empowered life? The little book of Second Peter tells us that we have everything we need.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
(2 Peter 1:3 NIV)


When I fail to live an empowered life, I am without excuse. Plain and simple. This is not a beat-down. It is just simple fact. I don’t feel shame for this. Remember, shame is bad. Guilt is okay, because I am guilty. As Brené Brown has said, guilt says “I did a bad thing,” where shame says, “I’m a bad person.” While this is not Scripture, I believe that Scripture validates it. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Shame holds us back while guilt should drive us forward. We acknowledge our guilt, accept God’s forgiveness, and move forward. If we focus on shame, we wallow in it.

But I digress. Back to the idea of the empowered life. In the blog entry that I linked underneath my Haiku, Carolyn Arends cites another writer who compares the Holy Spirit to a “wild goose” rather than a dove. I don’t find this to be irreverent at all. I realize that the Holy Spirit is represented by a dove a couple of times in the Bible. But I also like that people like Rich Mullins referred to God’s love as a “reckless, raging fury.” There is also the bit from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia where it said of Aslan that he is not safe.

“Is he—quite safe?” I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion” – Susan

“If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” – Mrs. Beaver

“Then he isn’t safe?” – Lucy

“Safe? . . . Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.” – Mr. Beaver

And, once again, I quote my alternative Christian music hero, Terry Scott Taylor, from Daniel Amos’s Darn Floor, Big Bite, “You are beautiful, a terrible, terrible sight.”

The power of God cannot be harnessed or controlled. He cannot be manipulated. We foolish humans think that we can manipulate Him with our formulaic prayers. We think we can say “In Jesus’s name” at the end of a prayer and that it will magically be answered, regardless of what kind of lives we lead. There are volumes of books written that mislead people into thinking that saying just the right words in just the right order will cause God to act in just the way we want Him to.

But here’s the thing. While that power cannot be manipulated or controlled, it can be assimilated. It can be worked in our own lives. If we surrender to it. You see, the correct perspective is surrender not control. If I surrender to the Lord of Light, and walk in the light of His presence, the power controls ME. I cannot control the power, but I can allow it to control me. And, as Carolyn opined in her blog, that is where we fall short. We like “predictability and control. The Holy Spirit – the member of the Trinity most associated with spiritual empowerment – tends to be unpredictable and disruptive.” Not chaotic, mind you. There is a difference between disruption and chaos.

She also points out that we feel safer talking about this power, rather than “plugging into the current.”

Father, help me to plug into the current of the power of Your Holy Spirit. I acknowledge the truth of Scripture that tells me that I have everything I need for “life and godliness.” Therefore, I do not need to be seeking anything outside of You. I simply need to be who You have created me to be, and surrender to the control of Your Spirit. But I don’t like to do that. Like Carolyn, I like predictability and control. Help me to surrender that control, because I cannot control You; I cannot manipulate You; please forgive me for the times when I try that. Words are important, true. But words are wind, too. What is more important is the heart, the motivation, behind the words. If I say one thing, but my heart says another, then I am not in agreement, even with myself, much less with You! My heart’s desire is to live a life that walks in the light of Your presence, rejoicing in Your name all day long, and celebrating Your righteousness!

I pray, this morning, Lord, for all of the governments and leaders in this world. May Your Holy Spirit surround them and cause them to look to You for guidance; may they follow Your will.


“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
(Matthew 5:5 MSG)

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
(Romans 12:15 ESV)

“The pain of our experiences can hold so much power over our lives. But the incredible power of human connection is undeniable, if we are willing to give it away and receive.”
(Karen Valentin, Daily Guideposts 2021)

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
(1 Corinthians 12:26 ESV)

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:13 ESV)

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!
(2 Timothy 2:8-9 ESV) (emphasis mine)

“Nothing can stop the one who walks fully in the will of God. Be that person and break every chain and obstacle to the contrary.”
(Jonathan Cahn, The Book of Mysteries)

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!

Nothing can stop one
who walks fully in God's will;
break every chain.

Grace and peace, friends.

Celebrate God’s Word!

Today is Thursday, September 29, 2016. The Boston Red Sox clinched the AL East last night. Fifteen days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” – Ralph Marston

Word of the Day

Junkball – A pitch that relies on movement rather than speed, such as a breaking ball or knuckleball.

Today is World Heart Day, intended to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke. It’s “the perfect day to quit smoking, get exercising and start eating healthy.” But I’ll probably do that tomorrow.

That was a joke. I don’t smoke.

As stated above, the Red Sox clinched the AL East last night, when Baltimore beat Toronto. The Sox celebrated by letting the Yankees have five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. But it didn’t matter. I would imagine that knowing they had just one the division made it difficult to focus. And who was it that hit the walk-off grand slam? None other than S’s hero and former Ranger first baseman, Mark Teixeira. Oh, well. Four more games to go for the Sox. One more with the Yankees and then the final series in Boston, against the Boo Jays. My hope is that the Sox can manage to knock the Boo Jays out of the wild card spot, giving it to Baltimore and Detroit.

The Rangers beat the Brewers again, 8-5. According to a good friend of mine, their “magic number” to clinch home field advantage for the ALCS is two. I tried to figure that out myself, but it was too early to do math.


Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name! Psalm 97:12
Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. Psalm 28:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Psalm 119:1

This verse sets the pace for the longest, “and in many ways the most remarkable of psalms.” With 176 verses, almost every verse mentions, in some way or another, God’s Word. “There is an astonishing inventiveness for expressing delight in God’s law.” The psalmist expresses joy and delight in the privilege of walking in the law of the Lord. There is never any indication that it is a list of “hard rules to be kept, nor of restrictive limitations to be endured.” Rather, the psalmist gives us “ways to walk in happiness and praise.”

“Almighty God, you have given me such great words of guidance and grace; I accept them as gifts to be embraced in joy. Thank you for a law that can be enjoyed and celebrated, in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“If you can tell where you got the call of God and all about it, I question whether you have ever had a call. The call of God does not come like that, it is much more supernatural. The realization of it in a man’s life may come with a sudden thunder-clap or with a gradual dawning, but in whatever way it comes, it comes with the undercurrent of the supernatural, something that cannot be put into words.”

Father, as I go into this day, I pray that you show me ways to celebrate and delight in your law, your Word. Whether it be verses from Scripture that are brought to my mind by the Holy Spirit, or simply thoughts that you place within my heart and mind that build you up and glorify you, let them be joyous and delightful. Let me live this day in celebration of you and walking in your Kingdom.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

Biblical Meditation

Good morning. It is Tuesday, September 29, 2015. One more day until my favorite month!

Today’s word of the day, from, is anomia. This is a medical condition, “the inability to name objects or to recognize the written or spoken names of objects.”

Today is World Heart Day. Heart disease and strokes still kill more people per year than any other disease. Heart Day is part of a “campaign to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke prevention.”

Not a whole lot to write about on a personal level. Yesterday was a pretty average day. Work was fine. Band practice was fun, because we’re practicing Christmas music. We have a good variety of music that we are working on, and quite a bit of it, too. Of course, we have two different concerts that we are preparing for, too; one in November, and one in December.

And the really great thing is that, beginning October 11, these Saturday concerts will no longer interfere with church! But, once again, we have mixed feelings about that. Speaking of church, I ran into our pastor, along with his brother and mother, yesterday evening, right before band practice. I had stopped in Southlake, to have dinner at Zoe’s Kitchen. When I walked out, and started walking down the sidewalk to my car, I saw these three people down at the other end of the strip. I thought, “That looks like Jacob!” Then I saw the other guy, and said, “That looks like Jared!” About that time, Jacob saw me, and we were both, like, “What??” Jacob laughed and said, “I didn’t get to see you this weekend, so the universe aligned to have us meet in Southlake!” Good times! They had been eating at a place called Torchy’s Tacos. He spoke highly of it, so I might try them next Monday.

As the baseball playoffs get closer, the Rangers seem to be doing their best to not be in them. They have lost three in a row, now, and the Astros have won three in a row. The Red Sox are also on a roll, but got eliminated last night when the Astros won again. But the Sox are not in last place, and could even wind up in third place, which would be a great victory for the season.


(From Heart Aflame)

But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert;
he gave them what they asked, but sent a wasting disease among them.
When men in the camp were jealous of Moses and Aaron, the holy one of the LORD,
the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
Fire also broke out in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.

Psalm 106:14-18

“For whoever allows himself to desire more than is needful, openly sets himself in direct opposition to God, inasmuch as all fleshly lusts are directly opposed to him.” (p 273)

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

As we continue to look at meditation, the “gateway” between Bible study and prayer, today’s section looks at “Meditation and the Mind.” The word that the Psalmist uses in Psalm 1 means, literally, “to mutter.” This makes reference to the fact that Scripture should be memorized. “There is no better way to meditate on a verse and draw out all the aspects, implications, and richness of its meaning than to memorize it.” There are words in the Psalms, translated as “meditate,” that mean “to ponder and question thoroughly.” In meditation, we ask questions. Questions like, “Am I living in light of this? What difference does this make? Am I taking this seriously? If I believed and held to this, how would that change things? When I forget this, how does that affect me and all my relationships?” Meditation makes intense use of the mind.

It also assumes that we already know something about the text upon which we meditate. “You can’t reflect on or enjoy what you don’t understand.” In order to understand a particular passage of Scripture, several questions must be asked. “First, what did the original author intend to convey to his readers in the passage? Second, what role does this text play in the whole Bible; how does it contribute to the gospel message and move along the main narrative arc of the Bible, which climaxes in the salvation of Jesus Christ?”

If we do not do the difficult work of answering those questions, our meditation will not be “grounded in what God is actually saying in the passage.” We run the risk of listening to our own hearts, or worse, to the “spirit of [our] own culture.” There is a popular Bible reading technique that has arisen in the past few years, known as “lectio divina.” While do believe there to be some value in this, it is dangerous, as it encourages the reader to hear a personal word from God. “Martin Luther said that before he could turn a biblical text into praise, he first needed to understand it as ‘instruction,’ as truthful information.” True, biblical meditation must be “founded on the work of sound biblical interpretation and study.”

Finally, we also must note the difference between biblical meditation and “mantra meditation.” “Biblical mediation does not empty the mind of rational thought.” (Emphasis mine) Christian meditation is very rational, sometimes even argumentative. Consider David’s meditation in Psalm 42: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (v 11) Here, David is “contending with his own heart.” While TM, or mantra meditation, seeks to “suppress the analytical side of the mind,” Christian meditation “stimulates our analysis and reflection–and centers it on the glory and grace of God.”

Father, again, I ask you to teach me the proper method of meditation, that I might know more about your Word and what it says and means to me. I trust your Holy Spirit to influence me and bring me along in this. Help me to keep my mind focused during times of meditation and prayer, for this is one of my biggest weakness, currently. Help me to understand passages that I choose for meditation, and then bring me into the glory of your presence as I lift up my prayers to you.

I pray for this day, that our passage to work and back will be safe. I pray for the day, that work will go well. I lift up tonight’s Huddle meeting, that we will know your presence as we see what you are saying to us. May you bring healing to Christi’s pains. I pray for your grace and mercy to rain down on the rest of our family today.

I pray for Brandon, our brother in Christ, who is working to demolish the house that burned a few weeks ago. May you protect him and strengthen him and bring him encouragement in some way.

I also pray for little Andrew, who is struggling mightily as he processes the death of his grandfather.

Come, Lord Jesus.

If we understand true meditation, we will not fear it. Biblical meditation can bring a wealth of possibility as we step into the presence of God in prayer.

Grace and peace, friends.