Here, There, and Everywhere

Good morning. Today is Tuesday, the eighth of February, 2022, in the fifth week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ be with you, today.

Day 23,343

I’m up early, this morning. Earlier than I would like to be, but it is what it is. However, I am also striving to head back into habits that I practiced, pre-retirement; habits that were having good results in my health journey. One of those was getting up early and having a decent breakfast, first thing, heavy on protein, light on carbs. I’m also going back to tracking my food in the WW app, which I have not been doing consistently since before Thanksgiving.

This also means that I will stop staying up until almost midnight, on nights when I don’t work the next day. I need to stop doing that, anyway, because I’m frequently not able to go back to sleep after C gets up to go to her job.

Today is my half-shift day, working from 4:15-8:15. I will run out and grab some Subway for lunch, for Mama, S, and me, and get something for dinner for them, as well as C. Although this is not a week in which I would be working on Wednesday, there is a meeting that I need to attend tomorrow, so I will be going to the library at 1:45, and staying until 3:00 (or until the meeting is over). The current plan is for Mama to go back to her house in Mineral Wells on Thursday. We don’t know how long she will stay there, before coming back here, but there is no hurry to make that decision, either, as far as I know.


Into Falling Deeper, by Daryl Madden

A time of our prayer
With Savior and keeper
A gift of His grace
Into falling deeper

Deeper into comfort
Knowing of our being
Deeper into rest
Deeper into freeing

Deeper into drifting
Knowing Presence of
Deeper into dwelling
Deeper into love

Deeper into peace
Knowing of the true
Deeper into home
Deeper into You

This expresses so well what I try to do, each morning. Please check out Daryl’s other poetry at the link provided. Here is a haiku that I just wrote, inspired by Daryl’s poem.

The deeper I go,
The calmer is the water;
Drifting into peace.

And as I drift deeper, this morning, I strive to be present in the moment, “here,” as we considered yesterday.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
 Jesus, the Son of God, 
let us hold fast our confession. 
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
 but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, 
yet without sin.
 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, 
that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 
(Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that, because of Jesus, the Son of God, I have confidence to draw near to the throne of grace
2. for the power of prayer in the faith of a mustard seed
3. that God is here, there, and everywhere, present in every person's story, whether they acknowledge Him or not
4. that God willingly bestows blessings, wherever He is
5. for the words of prophets who teach us how to respond to Your presence and Your voice, rather than trying to use You for our own benefit

Today’s prayer word is “there.” Right on the heels of yesterday’s word, “here.” I can’t help myself . . . my first thought was of a Beatles song, “Here, There, and Everywhere.” In fact, as I skim down the page of the reading, the title of that song is included in the prayer for today. I’m skeptical that this was intentional.

The featured verse for today is Psalm 133:3.

It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. 
For there the LORD bestows his blessing, 
even life forevermore.
(Psalms 133:3 NIV)

The context of the word, today, in the reading (the author identified only as “Bob”), is good. It is as if he is directing his prayers. “I see someone sleeping on the sidewalk: ‘There, Lord.’ I pull over for an ambulance: ‘There.’ I drive by a church: ‘There.’ I pass a bunch of commuters waiting for a bus: ‘There.'”

He is condensing the verse, “for there the Lord bestows his blessing,” into simply, “There.”

I like this. I have practiced “flash prayers” before, on my previous commute to work. Not consistently, but I have done it. That consists of “flashing” a prayer at cars that I see on the way to work. Each car has at least one person in it, one soul. When you think of all of the cars that you see on the road as souls (not the cars, of course), it changes your perspective. This especially helps when someone in one of those other cars does something stu . . . foo . . . reckless.

As I type this, it dawns on me that I have missed many opportunities to practice this, during my tenure as a part time library aide. Even when I am all alone in the stacks, shelving books, I see people perusing the library. “There” is an opportunity. When I’m assisting people in the computer/media center, “there” is an opportunity. Even if I don’t have to help them, “there” is an opportunity for prayer.

The prayer in the reading says, “Father, bestow Your blessing here, there, and everywhere today. Amen.”

(From Pray a Word a Day)

But he's already made it plain how to live, 
what to do, 
what GOD is looking for in men and women. 
It's quite simple:
 Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, 
be compassionate and loyal in your love, 
And don't take yourself too seriously—
 take God seriously.
(Micah 6:8 MSG)
"On that great day," GOD says, 
"I will round up all the hurt and homeless, 
everyone I have bruised or banished. 
I will transform the battered into a company of the elite. 
I will make a strong nation out of the long lost, 
A showcase exhibit of GOD's rule in action,
 as I rule from Mount Zion, from here to eternity."
(Micah 4:6-7 MSG)

“Left to ourselves, we turn God into an object, something we can deal with, some thing we can use to our benefit, whether that thing is a feeling or an idea or an image. Prophets scorn all such stuff. They train us to respond to God’s presence and voice.”

(From Symphony of Salvation, by Eugene H. Peterson)

Father, I am contemplating, this morning, the thought that we are quick to pray for something huge, like world peace, but hesitant to pray for something “small,” like a new pair of shoes. What does this say about us? Do we think praying for the “big things” demonstrates great faith?? Or do we foolishly believe that You only care about those big things? Jesus said we could move mountains. We talked about that in our church gathering Sunday. But are we so “mountain-minded” that we neglect the “small things?” I’m kind of “thinking out loud” during this prayer, Father, because I’m not sure I know the answer to these questions.

I do know, though, that my perspective on Your presence needs to be refined. I know You are “here.” I know You are “there.” I know You are “everywhere.” And God, help me and forgive me if I have attempted to “use” You for my own personal gain. I don’t want to do that. Rather, I want You to use me, for Your benefit! Help me to do the things that You have already shown us; to do what is fair and just to my neighbor, to be compassionate and loyal in love, and heaven help me to not take myself too seriously.

May Your Spirit remind me, as I walk around the stacks in the library, tonight, to pray those “there” prayers for people. Everyone in the place has a story; the patrons as well as the staff. I don’t need to know (and may not want to know) those stories. But You know all the stories, and somehow, whether they acknowledge You or not, You are present in those stories.

All glory to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

No, O people,
 the LORD has told you what is good, 
and this is what he requires of you: 
to do what is right, 
to love mercy, 
and to walk humbly with your God. 
(Micah 6:8 NLT)

Grace and peace, friends.

This Is the Way; Walk In It

Good morning. Today is Tuesday, the ninth of November, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,252

Three days until C’s birthday!

Not a lot has happened, to speak of, since I finished yesterday’s blog. We did have a pool guy come and look at our panels to see why the indoor panel wasn’t connecting properly with the outside panel. Turns out that connection isn’t really “wireless” like we thought it was. And the wire that connects the two is pretty much shot. About two feet of the wire is exposed, as it comes out of a plastic conduit to attach to the outdoor box, and that has had sunlight exposure for, oh, around twenty years, now. Ironically, after the guy left, I went to the back door to look at the inside panel, and it was, once again, connected. He must have wiggled the wire or something.

Anyway, we have a few options, and he is going to get us estimates on all of them. Well, not the first option . . . I think we have ruled out trying to “fish” a new wire all the way through all of that conduit and down through the wall at the back door. That would be very difficult, and might not work at all. The other options, though, involve attaching an antenna to the box outside, and either having a remote in the house or using phone apps to control the equipment. I think my first choice would be the phone app. There might actually be an option that enables both the remote and the phones. He’s going to check on that, too.

After some careful thought, I decided, yesterday evening, to go back and revise my answers on my WW app. I decided to tell it that I am not “living with” type 2 diabetes. And, in truth, I don’t believe that to be false. I’m not “living with it.” It is controlled, quite well. In fact, just two days ago, my glucose reading was below 80, which is actually below recommended levels before eating breakfast. Anyway, what this did was lower my daily allotment of points down to 25, but allow me to, once again, have fruit at zero points. I still get avocados at zero points, too! One thing that seems true, across the board, though, is that tuna is no longer zero for any of us. That’s sad, because we eat a lot of tuna. But it is still very low in points, a whole twelve-ounce can (nine ounces after draining) comes in at only three points. And my black-eyed peas are still zero points, so one of my favorite lunches is still very low in points. Yes. I mix black-eyed peas and tuna. Don’t judge until you’ve tried it.

Today is my half day at work, from 4:15-8:15, this evening. I plan to head up to a grocery store, right after I finish this, to get more (you guessed it) bananas and grapes. Then I’m going to get Subway for lunch for us (C works from home today). That way S can have the second half of her ham sandwich for dinner tonight, and C can do whatever she wants, and I will throw something together after I get home. I won’t be staying up too late tonight, as I work again, full shift tomorrow, 9:15-6:15.

I am still currently reading The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life, by Robert E. Webber. It’s slow going, as it is rather dense. But it is interesting, and I believe it will be, in the long run, helpful.

Today is World Freedom Day, commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. “If you don’t know what it means to be afraid to voice your opinion, then you can consider yourself very lucky to live in a place where liberty is a priority as well as a basic human right. And like all good things, liberty should be celebrated, and that’s what World Freedom Day is all about.”

The word for today is serein, “fine rain falling after sunset from a sky in which no clouds are visible.” I just realized that my “word of the day” link is a day behind, but I don’t really care. I don’t think I have ever experienced, or at least noticed serein.

Today’s quote is from Edith Wharton, an American author. “True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.”

Birthdays for November 9:

Gail Borden, American manufacturer, inventor of condensed milk, 1801-1874
Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-American actress (Samson & Delilah) and inventor (radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes), 1914-2000
Whitey Herzog, American baseball manager, 1931 (90)
Carl Sagan, American astronomer, 1934-1996
Bob Gibson, American HoF baseball pitcher, 1935-2020
Mary Travers, American folk singer (Peter, Paul and Mary), 1936-2009
Tom Fogerty, American musician, brother of John (Creedence Clearwater Revival), 1941-1990
Susan Tedeschi, American blues musician (Tedeschi Trucks Band), 1970 (51)
Tom Fogarty played rhythm guitar
Susan Tedeschi, singer. Married to Derek Trucks, the guitar player next to her. He is the nephew of Butch Trucks, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.


The Morning Moon, by Daryl Madden

A page of life
Will be here soon
A prayer within
The morning moon

A being of
Two sides to see
An offer here
Which will I be?

To let the dark
Now fade away
Rejoice within
The light this day

Still the silence
Of the soul
Align my will
To Your control

As birds prepare
Their symphony
Lord let my song
Be one with Thee

You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O LORD,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.”
(Isaiah 12:1 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is what turned Your wrath away from us
2. for the nice weather we have been having, lately
3. that our Teacher, the Holy Spirit, is not hidden from us; He is always there, telling us which way to walk
4. that You, in Your longing to be gracious to us, have arisen and shown compassion upon us
5. for Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life

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



Come to me,
all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 ESV)

As I pause during this quiet moment, I reflect on the propitiation of Christ, and its effect on God’s wrath for sin.


A song of ascents.

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
their hands to do evil.

LORD, do good to those who are good,
to those who are upright in heart.
But those who turn to crooked ways
the LORD will banish with the evildoers.
Peace be on Israel.
(Psalms 125:1-5 NIV)


This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.”
(Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
(Isaiah 30:18-21 NIV)


As I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord, I read over these passages again, noticing how the Lord might be speaking to me through them. I will dwell, briefly, in meditation, over any word or phrase that jumps out at me. I will contemplate the wonderful truth found therein, praying my thoughts to God, my life to Him. I will take refreshment in His presence.

The comparison of us who trust in the Lord to Mount Zion, “which cannot be shaken but endures forever,” is huge. Who among us has been “shaken?” And what does that mean?

The Hebrew word in that verse is translated “removed” in the KJV. I think “removed” carries a little bit better connotation than “shaken.” In terms of my faith, I have certainly been “shaken,” many times in my life.

But I have not EVER been “removed!”

I have not fallen away; been carried away. I have not lost my faith.

Make no mistake . . . this is not because of the strength of my faith or my trust. This is because of the strength of the Lord God Almighty. He has held me fast; He has kept me from ultimately falling away; when I stray from the path, He brings me back, He preserves me. The Lord is my Light and my Salvation. Whom, then, shall I fear?

Because of His great power and His very great and precious promises, I am like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken.”


I will pray, along with this unnamed psalmist, that the Lord will “do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart.” Of course, we know, from Jesus, that there is none good, but God. Nevertheless, we who walk in Him can be, by association, considered to be “good,” because we have the righteousness of Christ imputed unto us.

Where do we find our strength? The Lord says, through the prophet Isaiah, “in repentance and rest,” and, “quietness and trust.” But then, we see that His people “would have none of it.”

Do we find ourselves in the same place, today? To some degree, I believe we do. We still feel like we always have to be “doing.” And the Christian life, this walk with Christ is not something we do. It is something we be. Yes, there is action that needs to be taken. But it begins with being. Our salvation is not based on something we do. It is utterly, entirely based on what God did.

What has God done? Among other things, He has risen up and shown us compassion (Isaiah 30:18). Why? Because He longs to be gracious to us!

I’m intrigued by verses 20 and 21. Verse 20 speaks of “teachers” not being hidden any more. What I am getting from this is not physical, human “teachers.” The Hebrew word in that verse has some interesting meanings. In most cases, the word is considered a verb, which means “to throw,” or “shoot.” I’m also seeing “point” as a possible meaning. And isn’t this what teachers do? They point to what we need to be learning. They are indicators.

I will confess that I might be reading way more into this than is there, but here’s what I am getting from these two verses.

God, in His longing to be gracious, has risen up and shown us compassion. He has given us “indicators,” signposts, perhaps, a “voice behind” (verse 21) us that says, “This is the way; walk in it.”

If you’re like me, and you are sometimes, you don’t always walk in that way. I know I don’t. Why? Because I’m not paying attention to the “teachers,” the “pointers,” the indicators that are right in front of me. They are not hidden from me. The way in which I should walk is not a mystery! Truthfully, there is no mystery to it.

This doesn’t give me the exact detail of everything I need to do, obviously. There’s not going to be a sign at every corner, that says, “Buy this car. Go to this school. Buy those bananas.” We do have to make some decisions, and a lot of those decisions have no bearing, whatsoever, on how our lives are going to turn out.

But we have many, many directions and pointers. Many are in Scripture, and if we have looked at His Word, and read it, and digested it, then, when important decisions have to be made, we should be able to hear that voice telling us “This is the way; walk in it.”

Father, I praise You that Your Holy Spirit, among other “signs” that You have given, is right there with us, all the time, telling us “This is the way; walk in it.” I pray for the wisdom and discipline to listen and heed His whisperings along the way. I am eternally grateful for Your graciousness and compassion, shown to us in many, many ways, but most especially in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. We cannot thank You enough. We can try, though. And I will try; I will utter thanksgiving on a daily basis, and will never run out of things for which to be thankful. Thank You for giving me a heart that is full of gratitude. Help me to walk in the way that the Holy Spirit tells me. Help me to walk in the ways that Your Word has already told me.

I pray for the call upon us to follow Christ into our communities, workplaces, and wherever else we go. May His light shine in and through us, all the time. This means we must, MUST, set aside our own preferences and “rights,” sacrificing for the good of others, loving others as we love ourselves, and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ as You have loved us. I pray for the peace and well-being of our communities, our cities, our states, our countries, our world, Your Church.

"Saving God,
startle me with the wonder of Your forgiveness,
the joining of justice and compassion in Jesus.
Because of Your mercy in the cross of Jesus,
You will not hold against me any of my sins.
Let me rest in the just verdict of Your salvation,
free forever from condemnation.


Let your steadfast love come to me,
your salvation according to your promise;
(Psalms 119:41 ESV)

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.
(John 6:27 ESV)

Then he said to me,
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
Not by might,
nor by power,
but by my Spirit,
says the LORD of hosts.”
(Zechariah 4:6 ESV)

for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
(Isaiah 60:1 ESV)

Father, I pray for Your Church, that we might, indeed, arise and shine. Rescue us, Lord! Unite Your Church in Your truth, and Your truth alone. We are scattered, Lord, as sheep without a shepherd. We have committed idolatry by following after men instead of You. Save us, O God! Cast off the scales from our eyes; show us Your truth. Jesus is Truth; Jesus is Life; Jesus is Way. Take our eyes off of politics and politicians and conspiracies. Help us regain an attitude of humility and sacrifice for our fellow man.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Worship Him

Today is Monday, the eighth of November, 2021.

May God’s peace reign in your heart today.

Day 23,251

Four days until C’s birthday!

Today’s header photo is from Paul Militaru. Please check out his photo blog.

We had a mostly nice day, yesterday. The worship time at FBC Mineral Wells was pretty awesome. We had a great lunch from Natty Flats BBQ (although slightly delayed, as they were shorthanded).

This brings up an important point. I know from experience, it is quite easy to get impatient when I have to wait longer than usual for a food or drink order. But please keep in mind . . . it is not the fault of the person/persons serving you and they are most definitely not deserving of our wrath. Many people have left the restaurant/serving industry because of how rudely they have been treated during the past eighteen months or so.

Most especially, if you call Jesus your Savior, you must be patient and kind with people.

After lunch, we had a nice time of conversation with my mother, during which many topics were discussed. Our trip home was safe, but had a few tense moments. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I’m off work today, and only have a few chores planned. I’ve already been to the grocery store, which is why I’m running a tad behind with the blog, this morning. We have a pool tech coming, sometime this afternoon, to check on why our indoor control panel won’t connect with the outside panel. That’s about it.

There have been some big changes made to WW (Weight Watchers), beginning today. My plan has changed quite a bit, based on some answers I gave to questions upon opening the app, this morning. The biggest thing for me is, based on my ongoing bout with type 2 diabetes, fruits are no longer zero points. That means I have to count grapes!! Egad! But, as a trade-off, I can now have avocados/guacamole for zero points! And, when I eat a cup of non-starchy veggies, I get to add a point back. So that’s cool. Just some adaptation to be made, but I plan to carry on and keep moving forward.

Today is World Orphans Day.

The word for today is angakok, “a shaman in Inuit society.” “Inuit” is what we used to call “Eskimo.”

Today’s quote is from Winston Churchill, British statesman. “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Birthdays for November 8:

Julian of Norwich, English saint, 1342-1416
Vlad the Impaler (really!), Wallachian prince, the inspiration for Dracula, 1431-1476 (It should be noted that most sources do not provide a day of the year for Vlad's birth. My guess is that it has been put on this date because it is also Bram Stoker's birthday.)
Edmund Halley, English mathematician and astronomer (Halley's Comet), 1656-1742
Bram Stoker, Irish author (Dracula ), 1847-1912
Hermann Rorschach, Swiss psychiatrist (inkblot test), 1884-1922
Margaret Mitchell, American author (Gone with the Wind), 1900-1949
Joe Flynn, American actor (McHale's Navy), 1924-1974
Patti Page, American singer (Tennessee Waltz), 1927-2013
Bert Berns, American songwriter (Twist and Shout, Piece of My Heart, Hang on Sloopy), 1929-1967
Darla Hood, American child actress (Little Rascals), 1931-1979
Ben Bova, American sci-fi author (Exiled from Earth), 1932-2020
Bonnie Bramlett, American blues-rock vocalist (Delaney and Bonnie), 1944 (77)
Bonnie Raitt, American blues singer/songwriter/guitar player (Something to Talk About), 1949 (72)
Jerry Remy, American baseball player and broadcaster (Boston Red Sox), 1952-2021
Gordon Ramsay, British chef (Hell's Kitchen), 1966 (55)
Bonnie Bramlett
Another Bonnie

I really wanted to post a video of Gordon Ramsay freaking out over raw food, but there were too many bad words.


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

All your works
shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
and all your saints
shall bless you!
(Psalms 145:10 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for all the saints, who are constantly giving You thanks and praising Your Name
2. that I am alive and breathing
3. for our good visit with Mama yesterday
4. for the rest You give when we step into the easy yoke of Christ
5. that my help and salvation is from You, in the Name of the Lord, maker of heaven and earth

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



Then Jesus said,
“Come to me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28 NLT)

I pause, now, during this very quiet moment, peacefully sleeping kitten nearby, and consider the rest that Jesus gives to those who are weary. If our burdens are heavy, we need only step into His “easy yoke,” and allow Him to carry the bulk of the load. It doesn’t mean we don’t work . . . but it does mean our work is much easier.


A song of ascents. Of David.

If the LORD had not been on our side—
let Israel say—
if the LORD had not been on our side
when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
would have swept us away.

Praise be to the LORD,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalms 124:1-8 NIV)


In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:1-8 NIV)


I read these passages again, perhaps even out loud, in order to force myself to pay more attention to the words. How has the Word of God moved me? I ponder and meditate on what has connected with my heart and my mind. I pray to God what has moved me, turning my every thought to Him and quietly enjoying His presence.

Along with Israel, I can firmly say, “my help is in the name of the Lord, maker of heaven and earth!” Through Him, in His power, by the power of His Holy Spirit, I have escaped the “fowler’s snare.” The binding traps of the enemy have been broken.

As the Church, the new Israel, I do believe that we can confidently believe that the Lord is on our side. That means the Church, capital C, world-wide, and does not at all apply to any single country. However, lest we get too big-headed about it, we should remember that, in the big picture, the Lord is on HIS side. We should, therefore, be careful to be found on His side, as well. Let us not champion ourselves and hope that the Lord joins in. Rather, let us champion Him and His purpose, joining in His “cause,” the only cause worthy of defending.

Isaiah 6 is, indeed, a beautiful passage. When I was in music school at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, it was presented as the biblical model of a worship service. I do believe there is something to be said for that, however, I don’t feel that it needs to be adhered to, rigidly.

There are certainly characteristics of the chapter that should be found in any worship service, regardless if it is in a huge cathedral or an intimate living room in a house.

First, God is central. Worship is all about God. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this. Worship is not, and never has been, about us. When we make it about us, it is not “worship.” It is idolatry. Isaiah saw the Lord, high and lifted up, seated on His throne. We have no other description of what the Lord looked like, other than the fact that the train of His robe was really, really big.

Second, it is worth noting that the attending “living creatures” (these seem to be the same beings that Ezekiel saw), covered their faces and their feet with four of their six wings. I’m not sure what that means for us, to be honest, other than that we had best be careful how we conduct ourselves in worship. If the seraphim, these terrifyingly majestic beings, felt the need to cover their faces and feet, I believe we would do well to exercise a bit of humility in the holy presence of God.

Side note . . . maybe they aren’t the same creatures Ezekiel saw . . . they are only described as having four wings. He saw four of them. We do not know how many seraphim Isaiah saw, and it really doesn’t matter.

Third, the seraphim “sang” a hymn to the Lord. Maybe they weren’t singing. Whatever they were doing shook the very foundations of the temple, their voices were so powerful. This tells me that, when we praise the Lord, it needs to be


Now, this doesn’t mean the musical instruments need to be blasting through the speakers. What it does mean is that the sound of our voices should not be timid, but strong. How beautiful is it to hear the sounds of many voices, singing in unison, the praises of our God?

Side note . . . I believe it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who preferred unison singing when congregations sang together. While harmony is pretty, unison is more powerful.

Fourth, back to humility. Note Isaiah’s response to this vision. “Woe to me! I am ruined!” While the narrative doesn’t specify this, I have a vision of Isaiah falling on his face while he cried out those things. He recognized his own impurity, his own uncleanness, his SIN! Isaiah! The called prophet of God! When we come into the powerful presence of God, there is no room for pride and arrogance! I am not calling for shame. That is a tool of our enemy, the devil. Not shame, but recognition of, acknowledgment of, our condition before Him. He is HOLY! We are most definitely NOT holy!

He is “Other.”

Fifth, there is cleansing. Now, I don’t know how literally to take this passage. I know people who are way smarter than me when it comes to theology. But could it be that Isaiah’s sins were atoned before Christ’s blood was shed? This puts Isaiah in a rather special place, does it not? But that’s what one of the seraphim told him, the one who touched Isaiah’s lips with the burning coal. I know . . . vision. Not reality. Nevertheless, before we can be sent out on mission, naturally, we must be cleansed. Our cleansing comes from the shed blood of Christ, but there must be confession, just as Isaiah did.

Finally, there is an invitation and an acceptance. The invitation comes from the Lord. It’s more of a challenge, actually. “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah responded. “Here am I! Send me!”

I do not see this as an argument for the traditional evangelical invitation at the end of every service. I personally am not in favor of those, and feel they are largely unbiblical and manipulative. But that’s just my opinion, arrived at after years of observation and Scripture-searching.

There’s a twist, here, though. If you keep reading beyond the selected passage for the day, you will see that Isaiah’s message was anything but the traditional, evangelistic message.

He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Then I said, “For how long, Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”
(Isaiah 6:9-13 NIV)

Father, I am grateful that I can proclaim, along with David, that You have rescued me from the “fowler’s snare,” that I have escaped from the traps of our enemy. Why do I manage, though, to find myself back in them, after having escaped?? That is a question that I will have to wait to have answered. Until that day, I will strive to keep my feet out of those snares. They are broken (the traps, I mean). . . they cannot hold me. So if I find myself back in one of them, it is my own doing, even though I am free to walk away at any time. I thank You that I am part of Your Church, a small piece of “all the saints,” who praise Your Name and give You thanks, daily. I pray for the times of worship that we have, that they will be You-centered; that our attention will be on Your glory and majesty, and that we, like the seraphim, will practice humility as we cry out praises at the top of our lungs, praises to You, who are completely and utterly “Other,” and “Holy, holy, holy!” And then, just like Isaiah, when we acknowledge our sinfulness and our unworthiness to be in Your presence, cleanse us from our impurities, and send us to proclaim whatever message You give us to proclaim. Most importantly, may we listen to You for that message, for we will not all have the same message. All praise to You, through the Son and by the Spirit!

"High and exalted God,
Your holiness crushes my pride and pretense,
and I cry, 
'Woe is me.'
Thank You for Jesus,
the cleansing fire from Your heavenly altar who takes away my guilt so I may hear Your call.


give me your unfailing love,
the salvation that you promised me.
(Psalms 119:41 NLT)

Father, take us through this day, make us humble, and make us kind to one another.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the Lord make your love
increase and overflow
for each other and for everyone else,
just as ours does for you.
(1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV)

Grace and peace, friends.


Today is Monday, the fourth of October, 2021

May the peace of God reign in your life today!

Day 23,216

Only eight more days until our 36th anniversary!

We had an awesome Zoom worship gathering, yesterday morning. Our former pastor surprised us with his presence (he was hunting at the ranch with Brandon and Terry), and his knowledge of the Bible is so much better than any of ours. He has been sorely missed. We read through and discussed 1 John 4, and hashed out some difficulties in the passage, most of which largely related to cultural context and the period in which the letter was written.

After church, we had our usual lunch from Applebee’s. They got one of our orders wrong, but fixed it quickly. It was fortunate that the wrong one happened to be on top and I was able to see it. Otherwise, I would not have noticed until I got home with it. Personally, I think it’s because of the recent change in their menu and how it looks when you substitute an item. It looks confusing to me, so it probably does to the kitchen staff, as well.

Here’s how the baseball season ended. The Red Sox came from behind to beat the Nationals in the final game, 7-5, and the Yankees scored a run, I believe, in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Rays 1-0. Because of that, it didn’t matter that Toronto won their last game by a pretty big margin. The Seattle game wouldn’t matter, either, but I believe they lost to the Angels.

So the Red Sox and Yankees will play in the Wild Card game at Fenway Park tomorrow night. I guess the Sox won more head to head games, so they get home field. For the NL, the Cardinals and Dodgers will play the WC game on Wednesday night. How sad is it that the Dodgers won 106 games and only get a Wild Card spot?? But the Giants won 107. What a crazy season! Everyone else in the NL West was under .500 for the season!

Tampa Bay will play the Wild Card winner in the AL division series, and the White Sox will play the Astros in the AL division series. The Braves will play the Brewers in the NL division series, and the Giants will play the WC winner.

Because of the way they ended the season, I don’t have high hopes for the Red Sox, but maybe they will step up and beat the Yankees tomorrow night.

The Rangers finished the season 60-102, third worst in MLB. It’s like we’re back in the seventies again, only with worse management.

I have a few plans for the day. I plan to finish A Dance with Dragons (about 150 pages left). I will likely make a grocery run, maybe to Winco. It’s a little farther from home, but we like the selections they have. I haven’t yet checked to see if they have a curbside pickup option. They apparently don’t (I just looked), but in the process, I discovered that the store is open twenty-four hours a day. That is mildly surprising.

I also have a little bit of laundry to fold and floors to sweep. I’m sure all of this information is terribly interesting and engaging.

Today is my first Monday of the new library schedule, and I will be off every Monday until the schedule changes. Monday Off. There is a jazz vocal group called Monday Off. I tried to find some video of them. But they only have one published album from back in 2006. I might be able to share a track here.

I honestly don’t know if people who don’t have a Spotify account will be able to hear that.

Oh, and today is my official WW weigh-in day, even though I’m digital only and not attending workshops at this time. I managed to lose 1.8 since last Monday. I’m still up around ten pounds from when I retired from my old job.

Today is Vodka Day. I may or may not “celebrate” this. A shot of vodka (or pretty much any other whiskey or liquor) is 3 WW smartpoints. And it is true, vodka is, in general, made from potatoes.

Today’s word is Weltanschauung. I promise you that a cat did not just walk across my keyboard. I’m not making this up. It means, “a comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity’s relation to it.” It is pronounced [ velt-ahn-shou-oong ]. Okay, I think I understand. It basically means “worldview.” Not any particular or specific worldview. As a Christ-follower, I have a certain Weltanschauung. An atheist has a different Weltanschauung.

Today’s quote is from Henry Van Dyke, American poet: “Love is the best thing in the world, and the thing that lives the longest.” I believe the Apostle Paul would agree.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV)

Significant birthdays on October 4:

Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1626-1712
Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th U.S. President, 1822-1893
Buster Keaton, American actor and comedian, 1895-1966
Charlton Heston, American actor (Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes), 1923-2008
Alvin Toffler, American author (Future Shock), 1928-2016
Anne Rice, American author (Interview with A Vampire), 1941 (80)
Tony La Russa, American baseball HOF player and manager, 1944 (77)
Susan Sarandon, American actress (Bull Durham, Thelma & Louise, Rocky Horror Picture Show), 1946 (75)
Andreas Vollenweider, Swiss new-age harpist, 1953 (68)
Mark McLemore, American baseball player and broadcaster (Texas Rangers), 1964 (57)
Alicia Silverstone, American actress (Clueless), 1976 (45)
Caitriona Balfe, Irish actress (Outlander), 1979 (42)
Dakota Johnson, American actress, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, 1989 (31)


Pray without ceasing;
Be joyful no matter what;
This is the Lord's will.
(1 Thessalonians 5)

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for Mondays off
2. that I have so much for which to be grateful
3. that true joy is not based on circumstances
4. for these daily pauses, to allow God's Word to dwell in my life
5. for the spiritual sustenance that God's Word gives me

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



He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth.
(Psalms 33:5 NLT)

I pause to regain focus and concentration after being interrupted. Nothing serious at all, but interruptions do disrupt the flow of things. Sometimes it is hard to regain. I focus on the presence of the Lord and His unfailing love.


The LORD is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, LORD, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant?
(Psalms 94:1-3 NIV)

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see?
Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
The LORD knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile.

Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law;
(Psalms 94:8-12 NIV)


David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.
When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.
Then David was angry because the LORD’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.
(2 Samuel 6:1-8 NIV)


As I center into these passages, reading them again, I intentionally ignore distractions from other sources, such as notifications about new Facebook posts or emails. My purpose is to seek the Lord’s face and His truth and wisdom. May the Holy Spirit guide me.

We only read a few verses of Psalm 94 today (there will be more tomorrow), a psalm that has the sub-heading, “The Lord Will Not Forsake His People.” The beginning speaks of vengeance, something that stayed heavy on the hearts and minds of ancient Israel. But it makes proper note of the fact that vengeance belongs to God, and we are not to take it upon ourselves. The psalm begins with a prayer for God to take vengeance, for Him to pay back what is deserved.

The danger of such a prayer, of course, is that I would never pray for God to give me what I deserve. Therefore, I am hesitant to pray such a prayer about anyone else. I would rather pray for Him to show mercy. Yet we find such a prayer in Scripture, so we must recognize that it is proper. But we must examine our hearts and motivations.

In this case, the psalmist (unnamed for Psalm 94) asks how long the wicked will be allowed to “be jubilant.” And, like any true believer, I will confess that there are times when I shake my head, wondering at the fact that “the wicked” seem to always be partying down, having a good ol’ time, and never suffering any consequences. Sometimes, we just have to rest in the knowledge that “they will get theirs.” The will get what’s coming to them.

Or, perhaps, even better, they will repent and believe.

Tell the truth . . . which would you rather see?

I like the turn that the psalm takes in verses 8-12. The psalmist begins asking rhetorical questions. Essentially, in my own way of thinking, he is asking, “Do you think God is stupid??” The truth is, He does, indeed, know our plans. He knows them all, even before we do, and He knows that the plans of humans are futile.

We are blessed if God chooses to discipline us, and teach us from His laws.

In the passage from 2 Samuel, we see a rather severe case of the Lord’s discipline. Uzzah touches the Ark of the Covenant, and he is struck dead. Just like anyone else who reads this, I see it and think, “Whoa! That’s pretty harsh!” I mean, he was just trying to keep it from falling off the cart.

Here’s the thing. Based on the research I have done, they weren’t carrying the Ark properly. And only priests were allowed to touch it. It was supposed to be carried by staves, on the shoulders of two men, not riding in a cart pulled by oxen.

This whole sequence of events upset David so much that he was afraid of the Lord and wouldn’t even continue to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. Instead, he left it at the house of “Obed-Edom the Gittite.”

He was not willing to take the ark of the LORD to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the LORD blessed him and his entire household.
(2 Samuel 6:10-11 NIV)

I’m willing to make a big leap here and get all figurative with the Word. What we see here is a household being blessed when the Word of God dwells within it. Maybe that is too big a reach, I don’t know. But I don’t think I need to find a specific passage of Scripture to validate that truth, either.

This portion of the morning’s devotional is called “Dwelling.” To dwell means, as a verb, to live in or at a specific place. But there is also another meaning, in the operation of machinery. It means, “a slight regular pause in the motion of a machine.”

Interesting. In the motion of the machine of my life, there is a “dwelling” each morning. It is a “slight regular pause” in the motion of my daily life.

If, during that pause, I allow the Word of God to live in or reside in me, I am blessed. That Word, that the Lord speaks, permeates my being, just like drinking a glass of water or eating a piece of bread sustains my body. I believe this to be the reason Jesus used phrases like “living water” and “bread of life.” I need Him as much as I need real water and real bread. I cannot live without either of them.

Father, as I go through the motions of my life, as this “machine” operates, I am grateful for the regular pauses that You have initiated in my life. I am often torn, Father, between the desire to see the wicked suffer for their crimes and the desire to see them brought to life. We are a people who love to see vengeance. Yet, You call upon us to love our enemies. So how can I love someone, yet desire to see them harmed by Your wrath? I cannot reconcile the two. Help me to lean toward the compassionate side. I see the prayers of the psalmists, when they ask You for vengeance, so I acknowledge that this is acceptable. However, I would rather follow in the path of Jesus, seeking the restoration of all people, spiritually. Your heart’s desire to to see all men come to repentance, to know You intimately. Therefore, I will pray toward that end.

Thank You for the sustenance of the living water and bread of life. Help me to see You in all things around me, wherever I may direct my gaze.

"Holy God,
keep me from dishonoring You,
boxing You into tidy formulas I can take hold of,
taming You into something I can manage.
Let me really know You so I never trivialize You but make the glory of Your name the concern of my life.


God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
(Matthew 5:6 NLT)

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain . . .
(Revelation 3:2 KJV)

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
(2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV)

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!

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

To Obey is Better than Sacrifice

Today is Saturday, the twenty-fifth of September, 2021.

Peace be with you.

Day 23,207

Seventeen days until our 36th anniversary!

Today’s header photo is courtesy of Paul Militaru.

I’ve been busy this morning. I woke up shortly after 7:00 AM, and decided to go ahead and hit the Kroger store, to pick up a few items that were missed, yesterday, or simply not available at Walmart or Albertson’s. I haven’t been to Kroger in a while, and it was a pleasant experience. Except for the crazy woman in front of me in the checkout line, who, after about eighty percent of her full basket was rung up, decided that she couldn’t afford all of it, and asked the cashier to void the entire order and selected a small portion of what she had put in her basket to actually buy. The whole time, she kept saying she would get the rest at “Aldi’s.” She also acted put out that it was taking the cashier so long to void the transaction. I was a good boy and kept my mouth shut.

While I was at Kroger, I discovered some “old friends” in the canned fruit section. They had diced peaches, pears, and “cherry mixed fruit” (we used to call that “fruit cocktail”), in cups with “no sugar added,” that are zero points on WW.

Speaking of WW, I know I have not provided any updates, in a while. I believe I mentioned that I canceled my membership because we weren’t sure what our financial situation was going to look like. Then, after I started working again, I reactivated it for “digital” only, meaning I can use the app, and that’s all. Since then, I have not managed to lose any more weight. I have actually gained roughly ten pounds since I retired, and for the last three weeks (since I reactivated), I have not been successful in losing any. I’m not sure what’s going on, because I’m staying within my points budget. But I’m also not moving as much as I used to, so maybe I need to work on that. It’s frustrating, though. This week, for example, I am actually more than two pounds up, since last Monday (my new weigh-in date).

There are no other plans for today, so it should be nice and relaxing. I’m sure I will cook burgers for S and me, our traditional Saturday dinner. After I finish blogging, I will probably cook brunch for all three of us.

There are a number of “holidays” today. I choose One-Hit Wonder Day. I have encountered quite a few of them, in my six-plus decades of life. I would be hard-pressed to remember them all, but here’s one.

A one-hit wonder from 1974

The word for today is codicil, a noun meaning, “any supplement; appendix.”

Today’s quote is from Edward Hopper, American artist. “If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”

Significant birthdays on September 25:

Fletcher Christian, English sailor, led the mutiny on the HMS Bounty, 1764-1790 (or 1793)
William Faulkner, American author, 1897-1962
Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer, 1906-1975
Phil Rizzuto, American MLB shortstop and broadcaster, 1918-2007
Ronnie Barker, English comedian (The Two Ronnies), 1929-2005
Barbara Walters, American journalist, 1929 (92)
Shel Silverstein, American writer and cartoonist (Where the Sidewalk Ends), 1930-1999
Glenn Gould, Canadian pianist, 1932-1982
Michael Douglas, American actor, 1944 (77)
Mark Hamill, American actor (Skywalker), 1951 (70)
Christopher Reeve, American actor (Superman), 1952-2004
Will Smith, American actor (Men in Black, Independence Day), 1968 (53)
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Welsh (really??) actress, married to above celebrant Michael Douglas, 1969 (52)
Clea Duvall, American actress, 1977 (44)


Breathing deep
The presence of God
Filled with love

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for Your presence here, this morning, of which I am breathing deeply
2. for the rest of Your easy yoke
3. that there is, therefore, now, no condemnation for us who are in Christ
4. that You have cast my sins as far as the east is from the west
5. for the joy that I have, trusting in You
6. that nothing can separate us from Your love

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



I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.
(Psalms 139:14 WEB)

During the quietness of this moment, I reflect on Your presence, always here, never leaving or forsaking. I look back at the prayer requests of the week, lifting them up again to You.


A prayer of David.

Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;
have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
(Psalms 86:1-7 NIV)


Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.
Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD’s instructions.”
But Samuel replied:
“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
(1 Samuel 15:10-13, 22-23 NIV)


As I remind myself that I am in Your presence, I look over these passages, seeking a Word for me on this day, asking the Holy Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers, drawing me closer to Your heart.

Psalm 86 is a deep, heartfelt prayer. David begins by acknowledging that he is, indeed, poor and needy, which fits all of us, as we stand in the presence of the Almighty. There is not a person on earth who is not “poor and needy” in comparison with the Lord and His great mercy and gifts to us.

David asks the Lord to guard his life, and states that he is faithful. Some might disagree with this statement, pointing back at things like the rape of Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. However, we all fall into the same category. While we may not have raped or murdered anyone, we have sinned. So, in that sense, not a single one of us could be called “faithful.”

Nevertheless, I count myself as “faithful” because of the blood of Christ, and because of the fact that I have never completely turned away from the great salvation of my God. Yes, I have sinned. I still do. I’ve done some pretty bad things in my life. I’m not going to list them here, because my God has forgotten them. He has cast them as far as the east is from the west (a straight line, and never the twain shall meet, as Rudyard Kipling famously wrote). If my God no longer remembers my sins, why should I?

The first seven verses of Psalm 86 are a beautiful prayer, worthy of incorporating into my own prayers.

The idea, though, of a single sin ruining everything is highlighted in the passage from First Samuel, today. God speaks to Samuel, at the beginning of our selection, to let him know that Saul has not carried out His instructions. Samuel, as he should have, cried out to the Lord, possibly in Saul’s defense, all night long.

The next morning, Samuel went and found Saul and confronted him with this message. Saul proclaimed that he had carried out all of God’s instructions.

Let’s backtrack and see exactly what those instructions were.

This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'”
(1 Samuel 15:2-3 NIV)

Now let’s look at what Saul did.

Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
(1 Samuel 15:7-9 NIV)


One question I have is in regards to Saul’s statement to Samuel, saying he had carried out God’s instructions. Did he really believe that he had? Did he think Samuel was stupid?? Or did he completely underestimate God’s knowledge and not realize that God would let Samuel know what was going on? Whichever the case was, Saul’s declaration was simply ludicrous. The definition of “ludicrous,” by the way, is, “so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous.”

I have always been a fan of Samuel’s response, which is not included in our reading for today. I’ll paraphrase: “Oh, have you now? Really?? Then why do I hear the sounds of sheep and cattle in your camp?”

Saul offers lame excuses. And later in the passage, he makes it seem that he really does believe that he followed God’s commands, even though he did not.

This illustrates a major problem with human beings. It even translates into parent/child relationships and work situations. If God were to stand before me, today, and ask me if I had done everything He had commanded, I would have to shake my head and say, “no.” I have tried, yes. And, since I live in the post-Jesus days, my commands are boiled down to those two jobs that I keep going on about.

  1. Love God
  2. Love people

But, truthfully, I have not even managed to do those very well.

But thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I am free from condemnation (Romans 8).

Father, thank You that there is no condemnation for me, because of the work of Christ on the cross, and His resurrection from the grave! I thank You that, while I do still need to obey those two commands, and love You, and love my neighbor, I am not bound by the law in a legal sense, because Jesus has carried out the law on my behalf, and He has taken on my punishment for not keeping the law. Your grace is truly indescribable, and all of the “thank yous” in all of eternity would not be enough. I pray, like David, that You will continue to guard my life. I praise You for the joy that You give, each day. I pray that I would be more obedient to Your will, but I also pray that You keep me honest, acknowledging truthfully when I do not.

I pray, Lord, that Your Church would flourish all over the world, even through persecution that she experiences in some parts of the world. I pray that, when we gather to worship You, You would be glorified, and that this worship would also unite us, gather us, and bless us. May Your Word be effectively preached throughout the world.

"God of grace,
in Christ You set me free for a life of gratitude.
in bedrooms and boardrooms,
with friends and neighbors,
in learning and listening,
playing and working,
giving and forgiving,
As I lie down and rise up,
in my coming and going,
be pleased with my offering of a simple life of everyday obedience.
In Christ's name,


Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4 WEB)

Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
(Isaiah 46:10 NLT)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:37-39 ESV)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20 ESV)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
(James 4:13-14 ESV)

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
(Hebrews 10:16-17 ESV)

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!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

The LORD is Great

Today is Thursday, the ninth of September, 2021.

Shalom Aleichem!

Day 23,191

Thirteen days until the Autumnal Equinox signals the official end of Summer. The days are, of course, already getting shorter, and I noted that, this past Tuesday evening, when I got off work at 8:15, it was already mostly dark.

The big news today is that I awoke to find my first Social Security payment deposited to our checking account! This, of course, make us breathe a bit easier, because we know this is done, and we know what we will see each month.

The first thing I did was to reactivate my WW (formerly Weight Watchers) account, but as a digital only account. I will not be attending meetings, but will continue using the digital tools. I need that “crutch” in my journey. For the past month, I have felt like I was walking in the dark. Digital-only is less than half of the full price, and I’m getting a pretty good discount from that for the first six months, because I committed to at least six months. My first month is free, and I will pay $15-ish for the next five months, then it will go to full price, $21.95.

C continues to improve. In fact, she said that she did not take any pain meds during the night last night. She did take one around 8:00 this morning, but that is exciting to hear.

I have no idea what I will do for the rest of today, after finishing this. I have a couple things in mind, to do today and/or tomorrow (or maybe both). And the reality of retirement is finally sinking in, since that SS payment appeared, today. It is a remarkably peaceful and calming feeling.

Today is Wonderful Weirdos Day. Embrace your inner weirdo.

The word for today is glitz, a noun which means, “ostentatious glitter or sophistication.” Glitz is helpful in celebrating Wonderful Weirdos Day. It can also be used as a verb. “I glitzed myself up for Wonderful Weirdos Day.”

Today’s quote is from E. Joseph Cossman, an American inventor. “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.” There is great truth to this. I am reminded of Peter’s brief walk on the water. As soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus, his goal, he saw the waves and began to sink.

Significant birthdays on September 9:

William Bligh, British naval commander on the infamous HMS Bounty, 1754-1817
Leo Tolstoy, Russian author (War and Peace, Anna Karenina), 1828-1910
Harlan Sanders, the Colonel (KFC), 1890-1980
Phyllis Whitney, American mystery author, 1903-2008
Otis Redding, singer/songwriter (Dock of the Bay), 1941-1967
The first posthumously released single to reach #1 on the charts
Doug Ingle, rock vocalist (Iron Butterfly), 1946 (76)
Jeffrey Combs, American actor (Re-Animator, From Beyond, and other Lovecraftian films, as well as a number of Star Trek characters), 1954 (67)
Hugh Grant, English actor (Notting Hill, Love Actually, About A Boy), 1960 (61)


God Speaks, by Daryl Madden

A truth that we know
God is everywhere
Let it come to reason
That He is speaking here

In this very moment
In all we feel and see
Heard within the silence
How is He calling me?

A gift of nature’s beauty
Wisdom in the Word
A soul within the way
Event that has occurred

Let us come to practice
Attune the soul to hear
The joy within the binding
Where each thought is a prayer

“This is what the LORD says: You have said, ‘This is a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.’ Yet in the empty streets of Jerusalem and Judah’s other towns, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD. They will sing, ‘Give thanks to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!’ For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.
(Jeremiah 33:10-11 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for my Social Security payment coming in
2. for C's continued improvement
3. for the promises of joyful singing and praise in Your eternal kingdom
4. that my life is full of Your blessings
5. that You are great and mighty

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



The LORD is good; he protects his people in times of trouble; he takes care of those who turn to him.
(Nahum 1:7 GNB)

As I pause in this quiet moment, I meditate on the joyous potential in our encounters and interactions in God’s presence. I try to focus on that presence as I begin meditating on His Word.


For the director of music. Of David. A petition.

Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, LORD, to help me.

May those who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; LORD, do not delay.
(Psalms 70:1-5 NIV)


If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you.
(Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 9-10 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers.

David asks for protection from those who seek his life, but then he also asks that everyone who is actively seeking the Lord be able to rejoice and be glad in Him. Again, as previously noted, as far as I know, I have no humans seeking to take my life. I do, however, as do all followers of Christ, have spiritual enemies who would seek to derail and discredit my testimony. For me, though, the more important piece of this is praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that they are able to rejoice, be glad in Him, and be able to confidently say, “The LORD is great!”

In Deuteronomy, we see some promises, or, perhaps, consequences to obedience. I realize that this is specifically directed, by Moses, to Israel. Fair enough. But what can we glean from it, in 2021?

First of all, this idea of fully obeying “all His commands,” has, I believed has effectively been narrowed down to those two “jobs” I keep talking about. Love God and love people. Jesus has informed us that these two commands summarize the entirety of the Law and the Prophets.

If we can do those things, I believe that there are certain consequences that are presented here. No, we aren’t promised a “rose garden.” But we will have blessed lives. I believe that I have seen this come true in my own family. It’s not perfect. But neither am I. I have not been perfect in keeping those two commands, not by a long shot. But I believe that I have a blessed life. And I believe that I can take that stance by keeping my eyes focused on the Lord and His blessings, and not on those obstacles mentioned by our quote of the day.

As for the promises regarding being a “holy people,” and other nations fearing them, I also believe that those are exclusive to Old Testament Israel.

Father, I praise You for my blessed life. I thank You for Your greatness, displayed in my life and in the lives of others who follow You faithfully. I thank You that, long ago, You placed it in my heart to love You and love others. I am grateful that You are helping me more with the loving others part of this, lately. Most of all, I am grateful that I can proclaim, along with Israel, “The LORD is great!”

Help me to grow in holiness, as I grow in You. I pray that You would continue to uncover and reveal any idols that might still be in my heart. I thank You for Your forgiveness, and pray for Your help in extending that to others.

"Good God,
I know You're the source of everything good -
Your generous care and daily blessing are steadily on display.
Help me also know the call of Your blessing -
that I will never fully enjoy Your blessing until it's enjoyed by all.
Make me a blessing to all in my life so they too know Your goodness.


“Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 GNB)

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
(1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Psalms 23:1-6 ESV)

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!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

From Eternity to Eternity

Today is Saturday, the seventh of August, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,158

Twelve days until S’s birthday!

It’s a bittersweet Saturday, for several reasons.

First, and foremost, R & J are embarking on their new life, driving to Indiana with their kitties. Of course, we are praying for their safety as they travel, and for their new adventure in a new city and state.

Second, we have made a decision, this morning, to cancel our WW memberships, at least for the time being. This will take some serious discipline as we challenge ourselves to continue the journey without the support of the app and meetings. C will remain a member, as she is at “free” lifetime status. She will go weigh in once a month and be a sort of “lifeline” for S and me. We do not have any intention, whatsoever, of returning to old, unhealthy habits!

We are cutting back on expenses, at least for now, until we get a clearer picture of what our finances will look like. We are not worried about anything, but there will not be as much coming in, since I am retired. However, my SS benefits are still in progress, and it will likely be at least another week before I start work at the Hurst Library.

I did get a call yesterday from their HR department, and a follow-up email with documents for the drug screen and the background check. I did my part for the drug screen (peed in a cup), and sent back the background authorization forms, so now, I’m waiting again. There has been a lot of that, during these past few weeks, it seems.

We have also taken a step toward what is known as “cutting the cable.” At some point, later today, we will be shutting off our DirecTV account, and going to Internet with ATT TV. That is a strictly streaming service that requires no additional equipment. Unfortunately, it seems that the TV people conspire in such a way that it is virtually impossible to totally shut off any paid subscription service in order to watch channels such as HGTV, OWN, and TLC (all channels that C likes). Even with a separate app, you have to sign in with a TV service.

And, the only service out there that would allow us (and by “us” I mean mostly S) to watch the Texas Rangers on Bally Sports is ATT TV. Well, besides having a satellite, I mean. So we activated an account with ATT TV earlier this week. For some reason, the app for that is not available on S’s TV, and the TV in the spare bedroom (usually called R’s room, still), is not a smart TV, so we ordered two more Amazon Fire Sticks for those TVs. That is what we have on our main TV, and we have the ATT TV app on it.

So, with that and just Internet, we will be saving over $100 dollars a month.

I guess that’s enough “news” for now, so I will move on to the day’s devotional.


“Enter, Lord Christ–
I have joy in Your coming.
You have given me life;
and I welcome Your coming.
I turn now to face You,
I lift up my eyes.
Be blessing my face, Lord;
be blessing my eyes.
May all my eye looks on
be blessed and be bright,
my neighbors, my loved ones
be blessed in Your sight.
You have given me life
and I welcome Your coming.
Be with me, Lord,
I have joy, I have joy.”
(Celtic Daily Prayer)

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
(1 Chronicles 16:8 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for our family, and the love felt between us all;
2. for Your wonderful deeds among Your people;
3. for encouraging things learned about the retirement process and SS;
4. that our salvation comes from You, and a future awaits those of us who seek peace (Psalm 37:37, 39);
5. that Your love for us goes from eternity past into eternity future.

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



The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. All those who do his work have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
(Psalms 111:10 WEB)

I pause, briefly, in the quiet moment, to consider the Name of the Lord, and His presence in my life. The potential is endless; the possibilities infinite.


Hope in the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.

Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
(Psalms 37:34-40 NIV)


Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
(Genesis 45:1-7 NIV)


As I enjoy the presence of the Lord, during these quiet moments, I read these passages again, slowly. I covet the whisper of the Holy Spirit, as I read them, hoping for His guidance as I meditate and pray over these words.

We continue in Psalm 37, today, reading the last few verses in the song. The message is similar. “Hope in the LORD and keep his way.” There is also more encouragement to not worry about the “wicked.” The psalmist states that he has seen the wicked flourish, but soon, he will pass away and will be no more.

Instead of worrying about the prosperity of the wicked, he says, we should “consider the blameless, observe the upright.” And then this blessed truth: “a future awaits whose who seek peace.”

We are guaranteed that the wicked will have no future, at least in terms of any kind of reward from the Lord. But those of us who seek peace are promised a bright future.

God is our stronghold in times of trouble, says verse 39. But what it doesn’t say there is that God is also our stronghold in times of prosperity and peace. Let us not forget this. Do we only look to the Lord for our protection and deliverance when things go badly?

The brief passage from Genesis 45 is, in my opinion, the climax of the Joseph story. It is the “big reveal.” Joseph can stand it no longer. He tosses all the Egyptians out of the room, and with wailing so loud that people outside the room heard it, Joseph, with great love, reveals his identity to his brothers.

And the first question he asks them is, “Is my father still living?” I confess that the next sentence makes me laugh. “But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.”

If there is a Hebrew equivalent of “Oh, crap!” I’m sure they were saying that, at that moment.

But then Joseph seems to almost shrug off the way they treated him with these words:

“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”
(Genesis 45:5-8 NIV)

There is the wisdom that comes from the fear of the Lord, mentioned in the invitation verse for this whole week.

Joseph held no grudges. Even so, we learn, if we keep reading, that they didn’t completely trust him, so they made up a lie about their father sending a message that he should forgive his brothers.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?”
So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.”
When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”
And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
(Genesis 50:15-21 NIV)

Father, I pray for the kind of wisdom that Joseph had. He grew so much during those years, and Your strength, power, and wisdom was obviously with him. My prayer is that my life would reflect the kind of life that is exhibited in Psalm 37. May my life be one that is worthy of consideration; only You can make me “righteous,” and only that through the sacrifice of Jesus, His righteousness imputed unto me. Help me to not focus on any “wicked,” or their seeming prosperity, which will only be temporary. May I, rather, focus on the future that I have as one of Your children, one who seeks peace.

This morning, I specifically lift up a prayer for the safety of our children as they travel northeast, toward Indiana. May they arrive safely at their new home, and may their belongings also arrive in a timely manner, safe and intact. I pray that this whole experience would be positive for them. And may You draw them closer to You through it, as well.

I pray that Your Church would work for the common good and benefit of all people in our world. I also pray that “deep care, bold love, and rich community” would be experienced in the Church. May You be close to any who have departed from our church community.

"Debt-canceling God,
my capacity to forgive others is a measure of how well I know you.
Remind me every day that both I and those who have hurt me together form a community of debtors to your grace.
May my determination to forgive display how deep the gospel lives in me.


Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.
(Jude 1:2 WEB)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalms 19:1 NIV)

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
(Genesis 1:31 NIV)

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
(Proverbs 10:12 NIV)

Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.
(Proverbs 10:12 MSG)

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
(Psalms 103:17 ESV)

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
(Jeremiah 31:3 ESV)

I could write another whole blog entry just based on Proverbs 10:12. Then another one from the thought in Psalm 103:17. I’ll just leave this here:

“‘You can’t fathom eternity,’ said the teacher, ‘nor can you fathom His love, except to know that His love for you is greater than eternity . . . and to know the answer to the question . . . Will God’s love for you ever cease or give up? The answer is no. God’s love for you has already spanned the length of eternity. It has already lasted forever. For the love of God is, to you who reverence Him . . . from everlasting to everlasting . . . from forever to forever.'”

(From The Book of Mysteries, by Jonathan Cahn)

Thinking about God and time makes my head spin. Remember what Jesus said in John 8. “Before Abraham was, I am.” God loves you and me before we were born. You might think that I should have said “God loved,” rather than “God loves.” But it is more accurate the first way. Before I was born, before my grandparents were born, God IS there, loving me. He loves us with, not only an everlasting love, but a love that goes backward into all eternity. God’s love is retroactive, all the way to the “beginning.”

Head now spinning.

Father, my love for You pales in comparison to Your love for me. Fortunately, it is not a contest to see who can love more. Your love for me is unfathomable, both in length and scope. How can anyone love from eternity to eternity? But I don’t need to understand it; I don’t need to comprehend. I just need to accept it and embrace it. So I do. Thank You for this great love, my Father. And help me to display just a fraction of that great love to my fellow humans.

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!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Invitation to Believe

Today is Monday, the twenty-sixth of July, 2021.

May the peace of God reign in your lift today!

Day 23,146

Twenty-four days until S’s birthday (which is also J’s birthday).

And five days until I am semi-retired. Well . . . I suppose I’m fully retired until I actually begin a new part time job.

Speaking of that, I went ahead and applied for two more local library assistant/aide jobs, last night. One at the Bedford Library, and one in Hurst. The one in Hurst pays the most, but it may only be twenty hours a week. It specifies that the applicant must be able to work twenty hours a week, and does not say “at least.” On the other hand, neither Watauga nor Bedford specify a number of hours.

I’m figuring that I should get at least one phone call and an email today. I’m hoping for at least a phone call from the sleep study folks, and an email from the fingerprinting folks, so I can schedule both of those events.

At this point, I’m not real particular about which job opportunity comes through first. I would be absolutely thrilled to work in a library, and even more thrilled to work at one that is five minutes from my home. But remember that I have already accepted the offer from GCISD on the bus driver trainee. The hiccup is in the process of getting things going.

We had a nice day, yesterday. C and I actually went out and did a few things, in the late morning. The “farmers market” actually turned out to be more of a craft fair, with only two tents featuring any kind of produce. We wound up buying a couple jars of homemade pickles (dill and jalapeno dill), and a couple bags of booze-infused gummy bears.

I swear I’m not making that up.

I was reminded, yesterday, that I forgot to post my WW results from Saturday. I posted a .4 pound loss for the week. Always good to get a loss, but I’m still officially about a pound up from my lowest, before I hit this plateau. However, for the past two days, on my home scale, I have been at my lowest point in the last seventeen months!

We will not be attending the WW workshop this coming Saturday, as we will all converge on Mama’s house Saturday morning, to have an early celebration for S’s and J’s birthdays, as R and J will be heading to Indiana the following weekend.

To stay.

That’s all I’m going to say about that right now.

As for the rest of this week, I have a half-day off Wednesday afternoon, as S and I are going to a Texas Rangers game with FBC Mineral Wells. Hopefully the Rangers can manage to win a game, which I don’t think they have done since the All Star break.

Friday is my last day of full-time employment.


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

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
(Psalms 37:37 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for new opportunities in life;
2. for the "wonderful future" that awaits me, as I try, by the power of grace, to be "honest and good;"
3. that my history of sin has been erased by the blood of Jesus, and that there is no condemnation;
4. that I can freely go around Your altar and proclaim Your greatness and Your wonderful deeds;
5. that I love the house where You live, the place where Your glory dwells (Psalm 26).

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



The LORD always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
(Psalms 145:13B NLT)

I pause briefly to prepare myself for whatever awaits, this morning.


Of David.

Vindicate me, LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered.
Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.

I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites.
I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, LORD,
proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.

LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells.
(Psalms 26:1-8 NIV)


After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
(Genesis 15:1-6 NIV)


I read these passages again, perhaps even murmuring the text out loud to myself. How does God’s Word move me, this morning? What has connected with my heart and mind? I pray these things to the Lord, as I enjoy His presence.

Can I truly say that I have led a blameless life? For that matter, could David even proclaim that? I’m skeptical. I know for sure that I have not. For David, it depends on the timeline, here, as to whether or not the Bathsheba incident had already occurred.

But even if it had not, none of us, safe Jesus Himself, have lived a “blameless” life. So where does David get the nerve to write this in a song?

I believe it is in the next phrase. “I have trusted in the Lord.” And then in verse 3, where he says, “I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.”

There is also this statement at the end of the Genesis passage: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

You see, neither David nor Abraham had the benefit of salvation through Jesus Christ. They both had to rely on the blood of goats and bulls to cover their yearly sins. But both of them also believed in the Lord, and this was credited to their accounts “as righteousness.”

I can say, in a sense, that I have lived a blameless life (we all know that is insanity, right?) because the blood of Jesus has erased my sin, and, as we read about yesterday, the Lord has forgotten that it ever happened. In fact, it might even be said that the Lord has erased history.

And for this, I can, as David, go around the altar of God, proclaiming aloud His praise and telling of His wonderful deeds. And, I can truly say, as David, “I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. “

Abram’s circumstances were equally impossible. At his age, he was being told that he would have a flesh and blood offspring to inherit his estate. “Look at the stars,” the Lord told him. He was invited to believe that his offspring would equal the number of stars in the sky, “if indeed you can count them.”

Abram accepted that invitation.

Father, this morning, I am full of wonder and praise at the invitation You have extended me. The invitation to believe in You, to have faith in You, to marvel at Your glorious deeds in Creation and in my own life. I am beyond words when it comes to being thankful for Your work in my life. I look around me, and the world looks grim. I see the works of humanity and think that we must be doomed. How much longer can it go on? I ask, as the psalmists did, “How long, O Lord??” But Your time line is Yours, not ours. You exist outside of time, so for You, perhaps, everything is happening all at once. A thousand years to us is like a day to You. Nevertheless, I pray, as I do every day, come quickly, Lord Jesus. We are (at least I am) ready for Home.

Lord, as I roam around in my life, driving hither and yon, please give me more of a wide-eyed wonder at Your creation. I pray that humanity would do a better job of caring for Your creation. And I lift up those who work in that care.

my very great reward,
your economy of grace is a beautiful thing.
When in my sinfulness I trust your grace,
that faith is accounted to my credit.
And all of a sudden my life is rich.
I'm counting on your incalculable grace in Jesus.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)

Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 12:13 NLT)

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!

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
(Ephesians 3:14-15 NLT)

Grace and peace, friends.

To See His Face

Today is Saturday, the seventeenth of July, 2021.

May God’s peace reign in your life today!

Day 23,137

33 days until S’s birthday

The weekend is here, and there are no extraneous plans. It’s possible I didn’t use that word exactly correctly, but I don’t really care. What I mean is that, outside of our “normal” weekend activities, there are no plans. WW Workshop, this morning, grocery pickup immediately after that, Sonic drinks, church gathering tomorrow, probably Applebee’s for lunch tomorrow. We have a few burger patties left over from last week’s cookout, so S and I will likely have those for dinner tonight.

I have no idea what else will happen.

C has a bit of a sore throat, this morning, so she will not be attending the Workshop. She also has stuff that she wants to do, so there’s that. As mentioned yesterday, the granite has been ordered for the new kitchen countertops. A new sink, stainless steel, has been ordered, as well. Now we are looking at new microwaves, and may have settled on one, a Whirlpool, which is the same brand as the original microwave that came with our house. We are also in the process of choosing a new faucet set for the sink, as well. C also wants a new under-the-cabinet can opener.

In other news, many tears were shed, yesterday, as the reality of R & J’s imminent move to Indiana began to hit. It looks like they will be closing on August 4, and moving as soon as August 6.

I’ve mentioned that I’m taking PTO on Monday. Hopefully, there will be more to share about that Tuesday morning.


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

Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
(Psalms 34:21-22 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the possibility of new opportunities.
2. that none of us who take refuge in You will be condemned.
3. for the promise of the time when we will see Your face, and Your name will be written on our foreheads (Revelation 22:4)
4. for the promise that there will be no more tears, death, mourning, crying, or pain.
5. that You do not treat us as our sins deserve.

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



The LORD their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be!
(Zechariah 9:16-17a NIV)

I pause for a moment to simply consider the goodness of the Lord. His beauty is overwhelming; His goodness, never-ending, and His love, unfailing. My mind simply cannot comprehend it all.

BIBLE SONG – PSALM 18:2-3, 6 (NIV)

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.

In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.


Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.


As I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord (there have been numerous interruptions, as is normal on a weekend morning), I attempt to center my mind on the Word of God, lingering over the selected passages, and asking the Holy Spirit to guide me to relevant truth for my life, this morning.

Verse 2 of Psalm 18 is one of my favorite places to linger. Here it is in the English Standard Version.

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.
(Psalms 18:2 ESV)

All of these words depict strength. Rock, fortress, deliverer; refuge, shield, horn (that was a word that indicated strength or power, in the Old Testament Hebrew), stronghold.

The psalmist has confidence that all he need do is call upon the Lord, and he will be saved. If you keep reading in Psalm 18, you can see his deliverer’s reaction to his cry for help.

Then, in the passage from Revelation, the first five verses of the last two chapters in the Bible, what a glorious picture we get!

First, heaven and earth, as we know them, have been completely remade. The word “heaven” could simply mean “sky,” in this context, what we frequently refer to as “the heavens.”

Then we get a glimpse of the new Jerusalem, the “Holy City.” The fact that this “Holy City” is decked out like a bride walking down the aisle makes me believe that this is depicting the Church, the Bride of Christ.

Supporting this idea, verse 3 tells us that God will now dwell/abide with His people. This necessarily indicates that this presence of God will be more intense than what we currently experience.

Verse 4 is also glorious and something that true followers of Christ eagerly await. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Then the One seated on the throne declares that He is making everything new.

I cannot over-emphasize the joy that I feel in the depths of my soul when I read these two chapters of Revelation. I recommend that you not just stop with verse 5 of either chapter. If you can find the time, continue reading both chapters. I am especially interested in that tree that bears twelve different types of fruit, one for each month of the year. I suspect that it may be fruit the likes of which we have never seen before.

Probably the most glorious verse of all is 22:4.

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
(Revelation 22:4 NIV)

I highly anticipate that when I see His face, the only thing I will be able to do is fall on my own face, worshiping Him.

Father, I thank You for this vision of our future. Even in apocalyptic, symbolic, language, the words of these two chapters hold such excitement and promise for us! I long to see Your face, and the face of my Redeemer, my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer. But, for now, I will be satisfied simply knowing that You are present with me, wherever I find myself. Continue to ready Your Bride, Lord, for that day when we appear, coming down out of heaven, as the new Jerusalem.

"Welcoming Lord,
the end of the journey will be all too sweet--
no more tears because every7thing sad will have come undone,
no curse because everything lost will have been restored,
no night but only brilliant day,
and as my gracious reward you will make me possess a glory so great that I can't begin to imagine it.
Fill my journey today with the hope of that day.

Lord, please grant us the ability to perform creative and even risk-taking ministry within Your Church. Give us unity and holiness, erasing the gap of division that plagues us now. For all who are enjoying any kind of holiday or leisure, I pray that You presence would be especially strong today.


May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV)

"Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen."
(Anglican liturgy for confession)

he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalms 103:10-12 NIV)

Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:5-7 NLT)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
(1 Peter 5:7 NLT)

There is a reason that none of our explanations of the Holy Trinity can really help us grasp that truth.

“You can’t use that which is finite to comprehend the infinite.

“You never fit the infinite inside the finite, and you can never fit God inside of your understanding. If you could, then He wouldn’t be God.” (Jonathan Cahn, in The Book of Mysteries)

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
(Isaiah 40:28 NLT)

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
(Romans 11:33 NLT)

Grace and peace, friends.

Good Things

Today is Sunday, the sixteenth of May, the seventh Sunday of Easter.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,075

Four days until our Glen Rose trip!

And the rains have begun. Yes, according to the weather forecast, it is supposed rain (or at least a rather high chance of it) until a week from Tuesday. Which means, of course, that there is a high chance of rain all during our upcoming long weekend at the Cedar House in Glen Rose. But we don’t care. A little rain won’t dampen our spirits (pun intended) as we sit on the porch or in the hot tub, relaxing and reading. We had considered a round of golf one day, but C’s back issues and drop foot problem would have made that not so appealing for this trip.

So, at yesterday’s WW workshop, I posted a 3.4 pound drop from the last weigh-in, which was two weeks ago. We will, of course, miss next Saturday’s weigh-in because we will be in Glen Rose. The next time will be the Saturday before Memorial Day. I have now lost a total of 117.2 pounds since February 8, 2020. And I’m 18.6 pounds away from “Onederland!”

I made my feet take me to the study/studio, yesterday afternoon, where I practiced piano and guitar and singing for a little while, again. I’m still only able to play about one song on the guitar before my fingers hurt terribly. It will take some time to recondition those callouses on my fingers. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen on piano/keyboard. Playing piano is a lot like riding a bicycle. Okay, not really. You don’t move, and you can’t fall over. Well, I suppose you could fall out of your chair or off of your bench.

But I digress. I am still planning to do some kind of “performance,” maybe on Facebook Live. More of a worship set than a performance, at least for this time. I’m not sure when, yet. It will be at least next month, because I want to have the songs down really well before I try it. If this one goes well, I might try one with more of a “pop/rock” feel, maybe some Beatles songs and other songs that I like. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll write some new songs, too. Who knows??

Today, we have our worship gathering at 10:15. I assume we will continue in the Psalms, as we are up to Psalm 27. At some point, though, I think we might head over to 1 Samuel and read some history surrounding Saul and David. I think that would be a good companion study, along with Psalms.

Update. Our worship gathering will not be happening, this morning, as our host is not feeling well. C and S are heading out to give blood platelets. Yes, I included S. I’m as shocked as anyone.


Prayer to the Most Holy Name of Jesus
By St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus’ name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
O joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.
Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. 
You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.
The LORD will work out his plans for my life--for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.
Don't abandon me, for you made me.
(Psalm 138:6-8 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • for the gentle Spring rain that is falling
  • for the power of Your right hand that protects me
  • for Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • for the life that I have, which is good in so many ways
  • that You fill the hungry and thirsty with GOOD things

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



"Since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. . . . Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
(Hebrews 4:14, 16 NIV)

I pause, briefly, to try to refocus my spirit on the Lord, as it seems somewhat scattered, this morning. Father, draw me closer, shut out the distractions, help me to center in on Your great lovingkindness and mercy. Help me approach with confidence, and find this mercy and grace.


Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story--
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
(Psalm 107:1-9 NIV)


"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."
(John 17:13-19 NIV)


As I linger in the Lord’s presence (and I am with Him, whether I feel it or not), I read these passages again, lingering over words and/or phrases that catch my attention.

We all hunger and thirst. I get thirsty and hungry daily, for physical sustenance. Too often, I don’t recognize that the water (or soda) that I drink and the food that I eat comes from God. I mean, I got it from a box in the freezer, right? But everything in that box came from something that God created, whether it be animal or plant, or even artificial.

But I go a little deeper, here. Everyone also hungers and thirsts, spiritually. Not everyone realizes this, though. Jesus says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled and blessed. The writer of Psalm 107 says that the Lord satisfies our thirst and fills our hunger “with good things.”

I’ve always liked that phrase, “with good things.” It’s almost like a tag, of sorts. The thing is, your hunger will get filled. We all make sure of that. But it won’t always get filled with “good things.” Just like physical hunger, there are a lot of not so good things with which we can fill our spiritual hunger. Sometimes, I fill mine with judgment or gossip. I confess that I sometimes even fill it with hate. I am ashamed of those times, trust me, but it happens.

When God is at the center, my hunger will be filled with love and righteousness. My thirst will be satisfied by the Living Water. Bread of Life, Living Water.


He is the ultimate fulfillment of my hunger and thirst.

And He is our sanctification. What is sanctification? There are a number of definitions. Primarily, and in the Biblical sense, it means to set apart as holy. It can also mean to free from sin or purify. Another definition is to cause to be seen as acceptable.

Jesus prays, in His great High Priestly Prayer, that we will be sanctified by truth. What is truth? “Your word is truth,” says Jesus to the Father.

Let’s take this even deeper. The beginning of the Gospel of John says that “The Word become flesh and made his dwelling among us.” That “Word” is Jesus. Jesus, Himself, calls Himself “the way, the truth, and the life.”

Jesus is the Word; Jesus is truth. Not just “truth,” but THE truth.

There are a lot of people in our culture today, talking about speaking their truth. As if to say that my truth can be different from your truth.

There is only one Truth, and that Truth is Jesus. There is only one Way, and that Way is Jesus. There is only one Life, and that Life is Jesus.

I have no truth apart from Jesus. I do not have my truth. I have no life apart from Jesus. I may think that I do, but true life only comes through Him.

Father, I am grateful for Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life; the Living Water, and the Bread of Life. Help me to realize and act on Truth today. Let my life be wrapped up in Jesus; let me know no other “truth” but Him. Help me to walk in the way that is Jesus, and help me to revel in the Life that is Him. I want my life to be a reflection of Christ, who is a reflection of You. I ask, along with Jesus, that You would sanctify me in Him. Teach me Your way, that I may walk in Your Truth.

Our Father in heave, may your name be kept holy.
May your kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don't let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom,
the power,
and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Ascended Savior,
pour out your gifts from heaven and equip me to be your presence here and now;
remind me that you will defend and keep me safe from all enemies.
May that comfort plunge me deeper into caring for creation,
pursuing justice,
doing evangelism,
strengthening human communities,
and serving the common good,
all to your glory.
(Heidelberg Catechism 51)


"To him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"
(Revelation 5:13 NIV)

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
(Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
(Psalm 23:1-3 NLT)
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you."
(Psalm 32:8 NLT)

“The rain and the snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
(Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT)

Since you have been raised to new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
(Colossians 3:1-3 NLT)

Father, I confess that I am struggling, this morning, with a number of things. I pray for clarity of thought and mind; I pray for clarity of purpose for my life. I pray for the music to flow in and through me, that I might make a joyful noise to You with my life. Help me to celebrate life in Christ, and fill my hunger and thirst with good things.

Lord, please grant me resurrection hope and joy, this morning. I also pray for the power to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life, who is alive forever!

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!

Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.

(St. Teresa of Avila)

Grace and peace, friends.