Just Say “Yes!”

Today is Friday, the twentieth of May, 2022, in the fifth week of Easter.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,444

My day at the library was pretty good, yesterday, and went by somewhat quickly. There were periods when it was relatively busy, and the day started out fairly busy. By that I mean that there were people who needed assistance. There could be someone at every computer in the place, but if no one needs any help, it might as well be empty.

I finished a book, yesterday, The Twelve Tasks, by Katharine Wibell. I will get that review posted on my other blog, this afternoon. Late last night, I started reading Starman Jones, by Robert A. Heinlein. I realized, as I looked at my various lists, that I have not read any of the Science Fiction Grandmasters since last July.

The Texas Rangers lost to the Houston Astros, last night, 5-1. The Rangers scored first, in the top of the first inning, but the Astros quickly answered with two in the bottom of the first. It stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth inning, The Rangers brought Josh Sborz in to pitch in the seventh, and he did okay, but in the eight inning, he completely lost it, and I swear to you, he couldn’t manage to get the ball all the way to home plate! I lost count of how many pitches bounced in front of the plate. He gave up a hit and walked the bases loaded before Woodward finally took him out and brought in Matt Moore. Sborz only got one out in the eighth. Moore got the second out, but then gave up a bases-clearing double, which made it 5-1.

So the Rangers are now 17-20 for the season, but still in third place in the AL West, a game ahead of Seattle and 2.5 ahead of Oakland. They are seven games behind the Astros. They play again tonight, at 7:10 CDT, on Apple TV. Martin Perez gets the start tonight. Hopefully, he can continue his good performance streak.

The reason the Rangers are still alone in third place is that the Red Sox beat the Mariners, last night, 12-6. Wow. They scored runs in five out of eight innings (they didn’t bat in the ninth because they are at home). The Sox are now 16-22 for the season, still in fourth place in the AL East, 1.5 ahead of the Orioles. They will play the Mariners again tonight, in Boston, at 7:10 EDT.

Someone listened to me, because the Yankees finally lost their tenth game, last night. They still own the best MLB record, though, at 28-10, 2.5 ahead of the LA Dodgers. The Cincinnati Reds (11-26) are still the worst, a game behind the Washington Nationals (13-26). The LA Dodgers have the longest win streak, at five games, and the Cleveland Guardians (can’t get used to that!) are tied with the LA Angels (yay!!!) with the longest losing streak, at three games. The Dodgers continue to have the highest run differential, at +83, while the Pittsburgh Pirates have the lowest differential, at -71. The Rangers and Red Sox both have a current run differential of -8.

It’s Friday, so I have pretty much nothing planned today. I like that. C is working from home, so we are all here, and Mama likes that. 🙂 I have to say I like it, too. C is going on a trip, though, next Friday, and I already miss her. 😦 She will have an opportunity, though, to visit with our oldest daughter in Indianapolis while on this trip, though, so that is good. I was unable to go along, because I’m scheduled to work that weekend, and, since I’m part time, I don’t get PTO. Plus, the first part of her trip is work-related.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Lord our God, give us your Spirit, we pray, that we may learn to understand what we are and what tasks you have set for us. We thank you for all the light you give us. Grant that we and many others may come closer to knowledge of the truth and be at peace about all that belongs in your hands, our Father in heaven. Keep us now and forevermore in your almighty hand. May we know your goodness and the blessing it brings. For through your goodness we can endure even the hardest days and be victorious in the battle of life. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 
who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 
For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.
(1 Timothy 2:1-5 NLT emphasis mine)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, who can reconcile God and humanity
2. for the ability to let God worry about the things that only He can control
3. that the Lord has redeemed me and snatched me from the power of the grave
4. for my beautiful and good inheritance in Christ
5. for the reality that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is actually closer to me than any human being; I pray to know this reality in every waking moment
They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. 
Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. 
Redemption does not come so easily, 
for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave. . . .  
But as for me, God will redeem my life. 
He will snatch me from the power of the grave.
(Psalms 49:6-9, 15 NLT)

Today’s prayer word is “yes.”

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
(Psalms 16:6 ESV)

That verse is tricky, because the reading quotes it from the NKJV, which I don’t have in my Bible program on my PC, and have no desire to pay for. But the NKJV uses the word “yes,” where the ESV says “indeed.” The original KJV says “yea.”

I believe that I can say, along with David, that, yes, I have a beautiful and good inheritance. Truly, the lines have fallen in pleasant places, for me.

I love to cry out “yes!” in praise when I am worshiping the Lord. I say “yes!” to His mercy and grace; “yes!” to His steadfast and unending love; “yes!” to His provision; and “yes!” to His magnificent glory.

But there is another usage of “yes,” that I think needs to be highlighted.

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT)

You see, God says “yes!” to us, as well. Not in a “name-it-claim-it” prosperity gospel blank check kind of way. But the real and true promises of God are always “yes” in Christ. And that verse brings up another thing that I forgot about. Essentially, the word “amen” means “yes.” In fact, I recall, when listening to the album that propelled Hillsong into the limelight, back in the nineties, (Shout to the Lord) it became apparent that Australian Christians had a tendency to say “yeah,” in place of “amen.”

(From Pray a Word a Day)

Father, I cry out with a resounding “yes!” in praise to You. I praise You for all Your glory, Your magnificence, displayed around the world in Your glorious creation. I praise You for Your unending love, Your infinite mercy and grace. And I also praise You for Your “yes!” in the promises that You have given and their fulfillment in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Search me, God, and know my heart; 
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 See if there is any offensive way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalms 139:23-24 NIV)

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
(Matthew 18:21-22 NIV)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
(Luke 6:37 NIV)

The main thrust of this topic is forgiveness. We all have the tendency, as humans, to want revenge. Or, perhaps, we want what we consider to be “justice.” Sometimes, our idea of justice is nothing more than revenge wrapped in a different skin. But we’re human, after all, and that’s how we roll.

I love The Message version of the Luke passage.

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
(Luke 6:37-38 MSG)

And wouldn’t you know it? I can tie this all back around to that thing that I keep harping on. Love. And that “golden rule” thing that Jesus talked about. You know the one . . . treat others the way you want to be treated. There’s a thing making the rounds on TikTok, currently. It says, “Turns out when you treat people the way they treat you . . . they get mad.” Well, duh.

We live in an age of unprecedented picking on people, jumping on their failures, and criticizing their faults. Unless, of course, they’re on the same political side as we are. Then, their faults don’t matter. If we were following the commands of Jesus, that wouldn’t be happening. Plain and simple.

This is why I’m paying less and less attention to politics. It’s hard to avoid, sometimes, because it gets right in your face. I just try to move my face.

Just say, “Yes!” to forgiveness and treating people the way you want to be treated. Say “Yes!” to being Christlike.

Father, I pray for us. Not just us in the U.S., but “us” all over the world. I pray for all the people who claim to be following Christ, but insist on disobeying the commands of Jesus to not be judging and picking on people, and treating them the actual opposite of the way they would like to be treated. Help us to love, Father. Help us to say “yes” to forgiveness and love; “yes” to mercy and grace. We love receiving Your mercy and grace; help us to also love dispensing that mercy and grace, and help us, that our mercy and love would be like Yours, infinite and never-ending. I know that’s ultimately impossible, but at least we could try, You know?

Here’s a brief word from Eugene Peterson.

“Worship centers our life. In worship, we let God have the first word. We set the mood of days to come by practicing adoration and praise. We establish a sense of reality in which the ‘great invisibles’ (God, Christ, and Spirit) can be as fresh and present to us in daily life as our family members and workplaces and job lists.”

(From On Living Well)

Okay, just stop for a moment. Can you even imagine that sense of reality of which he speaks? Can you imagine a sense of reality in which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are as real and fresh to you as your family?? Can I truly conceive of practicing a reality in which God is as close and real to me as my wife, mother, and daughter that live in the same house as me?

But here’s the thing.

He

Is

Closer!

This is reality, folks! God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is literally closer to us than even our families! We just have to enter into a reality where we can feel this and experience it. And this begins, according to Peterson (and I find myself, as usual, in agreement with him), with worship.

Just say “Yes!” to worship!

Father, I pray for the ability to worship You in such a way that leads to this reality. Frank Laubach believed that we could live in such a way as to consider You during every minute of every day (at least the ones in which we are awake). What would our lives look like if we could achieve this? If, during every minute of my waking hours I knew of Your presence within me and all around me, as the prayer of St. Patrick envisions, what would my life look like? I want to know this reality. I desire to live and walk in this reality. Help me to say “yes” to this kind of worship and experience.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

This song wrecks me, every time.

Grace and peace, friends.

My Heart Shall Rejoice

Today is Saturday, January 13, 2018. Day 21,856.

75 days until Opening Day.

Trevor Rabin (Yes), born on this date in 1955, said, “When you listen to a Yes album, you should listen to the whole thing through headphones with the lights off.”
BrainyQuote
I find myself to be in agreement with that statement. Yes is just one of those kinds of bands. Especially albums like Close To the Edge, or Tales From Topographic Oceans. Here is a live recording of Rabin and Yes performing “Changes.”

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is pseud, a noun, meaning, “a person of fatuously earnest intellectual, artistic, or social pretensions.” What, you might ask, does “fatuously” mean? I’m glad you asked. I had to look it up. It means, “foolish or inane, especially in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly.”

It’s the weekend! We made our Kroger Click List order last night, and will be going to pick it up in about an hour. That’s my kind of grocery shopping!!

R & J are coming over later, for lunch, and so I can give her her license tag window sticker. I think we will go to Cotton Patch for lunch. Perhaps we will play some games after, or watch something on Netflix. Who knows?

There might be some football games this weekend. I’m not sure. 😀 Actually, out of curiosity, I looked it up. People who know me know that I don’t really follow football. So . . . today, the Falcons play the Eagles. Bird against bird. That’s fitting. I will pull for the Eagles. I like green. In the second game, the Titans play the Patriots. I will root for the Patriots. (Sorry, Mama.) Go ahead and hate Tom Brady if you want to. He’s one of the greatest that’s ever played the game. Plus, if you claim to love America, why wouldn’t you root for a team called “The Patriots?” Hmmmm?? I jest, of course. Tomorrow, first game, Jaguars vs. Steelers. That’s a tough one for me. I like Jaguars. The cats and the cars both. But I have a work associate that is a Steelers fan. I think I’ll still root for the Jags. Tomorrow, second game, Saints and Vikings. Another tough one. I’ve always been partial to the Saints, but I have also always liked the Vikings. Fran Tarkenton and all that, you know. I also have a couple of work associates who like the Saints. I’m not calling that one. I’ll root for both teams. And yes, I can, too, do that.

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

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

I love how this Psalm begins with a kind of lament, but ends with the positive affirmation, “My heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Relationships are important, especially in the body of Christ. We need one another, and we need to build up one another.

(From The Business of Heaven)
The Visible Church

“If He can be known it will be by self-revelation on His part, not by speculation on ours. We, therefore, look for Him where it is claimed that He has revealed Himself by miracle, by inspired teachers, by enjoined ritual. The traditions conflict, yet the longer and more sympathetically we study them the more we become aware of a common element in many of them: the theme of sacrifice, of mystical communion through the shed blood, of death and rebirth, of redemption, is too clear to escape notice. We are fully entitled to use moral and intellectual criticism. What we are not, in my opinion, entitled to do is simply to abstract the ethical element and set that up as a religion on its own. Rather in that tradition which is at once more completely ethical and most transcends mere ethics . . . we may still most reasonably believe that we have the consummation of all religion, the fullest message from the wholly other, the living creator, who, if He is at all, must be the God not only of the philosophers, but of mystics and savages, not only of the head and heart, but also of the primitive emotions and the spiritual heights beyond all emotion. We may . . . attach ourselves to the Church, to the only concrete organization which has preserved down to this present time the core of all the messages, pagan and perhaps pre-pagan, that have ever come from beyond the world, and begin to practise the only religion which rests not upon some selection of certain supposedly ‘higher’ elements in our nature, but on the shattering and rebuilding, the death and rebirth, of that nature in every part: neither Greek nor Jew nor barbarian, but a new creation.” (Religion Without Dogma?)

Father, as this weekend goes by, may we be more in tune with the need for the relationships of which we are part, both familial and spiritual. May our time with our children by exceptional today. May our worship gathering tomorrow focus as much on the relationships with the people who attend as it does on the sermon or the songs. May we find our most special inspiration from the taking of The Supper as a community of faith. You have loved us. Help us to love one another as you love us. And remind us that you love us just as you love your Son, our Savior.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

What Others Think

Good morning. It is Saturday, October 25, 2014. Welcome to the “Weekend Edition.”

Today is International Artists Day. Since my wife is an artist, I chose this one out of several choices. If you have an opportunity, support your local artists today.

Re-routing my trip to work has been fine. Yesterday, I got to work before 7:45, and had time to put all my stuff away before clocking in. In spite of the numerous traffic signals along the way, it’s a much more pleasant trip. I’m not sure why I ever started going the other way. The work day went fine, but we got 200 boxes in, yesterday, a rather large number, especially of late, so I stayed an hour over to try to get more of them processed. I think they have five or six people scheduled in today, so they should be okay.

Christi continues to absolutely love her job! It is such a blessing that she got this job. I don’t think I have ever seen her happier in a work environment! She is also feeling much better, which is great. I think she got a moment of “positional vertigo” last night, but that normally only lasts a few seconds.

Today should be a normal Saturday. We will probably head out around 10:00 or 11:00 to get groceries for us and Christi’s mom, then grab some lunch, then it will be off to set up for church. Our prayer gathering is at 4:45, and the worship service is at 5:45. Our pastor is still in Thailand, so our other elder will be preaching tonight. If you’re in our area, come check us out. We are The Exchange.

(Source: This Day in History)

It was on this date in 1994 that Susan Smith reported a fake carjacking to cover up the fact that she drover her car into a lake to murder her own children. This is a tragic tale of abuse, anyway, as it is reported that both Susan and her husband “had used their children as pawns in their tempestuous marriage.” It is reported that they both had multiple affairs during their relationship. Susan is currently serving her term of life in prison.

Today’s birthdays include Katy Perry, Pablo Picasso, Craig Robinson, Minnie Pearl, Adam Goldberg, Pedro Martinez, Helen Reddy, Marion Ross, Jon Anderson, Georges Bizet, Smoky Joe Wood, and Bobby Thomson.

Jon Anderson is a singer who, for the majority of his career, was the lead singer for the rock group Yes. He was born in 1944, and turns 70 years old today. Here is an early song of theirs, called “And You And I.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
Psalm 85:7
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
Psalm 65:4
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Psalm 85:5
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

Psalm 59:16-17
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Psalm 84:2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Today’s Gospel Reading

He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.
Matthew 12:9-14

Jesus continues to confound the Pharisees, as they attempt to trap him. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is okay to break the law to “do good.” However, I will say that I believe that Jesus enforces that it is better to do good than to be concerned about legalism. After beating the Pharisees at their own game, he heals the man’s withered hand. At this point, the Pharisees begin to plot Jesus’s death.

I remember an incident many years ago, as I was riding in a car with a co-worker, also a Christian and fellow seminary student. It was Sunday afternoon, and we passed a house where a man was mowing his yard. “I wish people wouldn’t do that,” he declared. At first, I didn’t realize what he was saying. But he was holding on to that legalistic view of Sunday being “the Sabbath” (which it is NOT), and proclaiming that the entire world should cater to his opinion. That, of course, is a very slippery slope. And what if that man was mowing the yard of an elderly person who could not do it him/herself? Even if it had been the Sabbath, I believe Jesus would have approved.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Defensive Postures.”

“I find myself threatened, challenged, and exhilarated by Christ’s freedom from human respect, his extraordinary independence, indomitable courage, and unparalleled authenticity. In preaching the gospel I have been graced to speak fearlessly in the knowledge and conviction that the Word of God must not be fettered, compromised, or watered down; but in my personal life, my fears and insecurities lead me voraciously to seek the approval of others, to assume a defensive posture when I am unjustly accused, to feel guilty over refusing any request, to doggedly live up to others’ expectations, to be all things to all men in a way that would make the apostle Paul shudder.”

That’s the whole reading. I quoted it, entirely, because I felt I could not adequately paraphrase any of it without it losing intensity. I have this freedom, given to me by my relationship with Christ, yet I constantly find myself trapped by feelings of needing approval from others. I will say that, as I get older, and, hopefully, closer to God, this need seems to be less and less. There is something about getting older that makes one less concerned about what others think about you. I’ve always felt that to be a good thing. But it’s only a good think if it is in relationship to maturity in Christ. If I’m just being a cantankerous old coot, it’s really not a good thing.

but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4

Father, I pray that you would continue leading me down a path of not seeking after the approval of men, but trying to live a life that is pleasing to you. I pray that, each day, I might live my life in such a way that points people toward you and your Kingdom. May I be faithful in bringing your Kingdom to the people in my life in whatever way you give me to do so. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. I also pray that you would remind me, daily, to pray more often. Teach me to “pray without ceasing.”

I pray for this day, that it will go smoothly, as we do whatever errands that we have to do. I pray for safety as we travel around today. I pray for this evening’s worship and prayer times, that your name will be lifted high, and that all that we do will glorify you. I pray that you empower Jeremy to speak the words that you have given him, and that you would open our ears to hear what your Spirit would say to us. Give us good rest tomorrow as we prepare for another week of work.

Your grace is sufficient.

As we take the Gospel to the world around us, may we be less concerned about what others think.

Grace and peace, friends.

Engage

Good morning. It is Monday, January 13, 2014.

Today is “Skeptics Day.” I’m skeptical about a lot of things. So let that skepticism loose today. Or listen extra carefully to someone you know how is skeptical about something. Perhaps a little healthy dialogue might be in order. Note: I did not say argument. I said “healthy dialogue.”


We had a wonderful time at my parents’ yesterday. We got there around noon-ish, and sat down for some conversation. Then we moved a couple of pieces of furniture for them, freeing up more space for my Dad to get around more easily. After that, we had a nice lunch of tuna sandwiches, chips, and my Mother’s peach cobbler Yum!! After lunch, Christi and I took my Mom to Walmart to fill up their van and look for a new outside trash can. While Christi and Mom were in Wally World, I ran the van through the car wash. When we got back to the house, we all went out to the garage, where Christi and I moved some stuff around for them, opening up some space and getting some storage containers down where they can look through them. We finished up with that, then went back to the den, where we chatted a while longer and casually watched one of the football playoff games. It was a great day, and we felt pretty good about it afterward.

Congratulations to Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams on winning Golden Globe awards for American Hustle.


On this date in 1929, “nearly 50 years after the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” Wyatt Earp died in Los Angeles at the age of 80. (Source: History.com)


Today’s birthdays are Horatio Alger, Jr., minister and author, 1832, Robert Stack, actor, 1919, Richard Moll, actor, 1943, T-Bone Burnett, musician/producer, 1948, Trevor Rabin, guitarist (Yes), 1954, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actress, 1961, Patrick Dempsey, actor (McDreamy), 1966, Tabith Stevens (fictional character), 1966, and Orlando Bloom, actor, 1977.

Trevor Rabin has been one of the lead guitarists/vocalists that has performed with the prog-rock group Yes. Here is a clip of “Shoot High, Aim Low,” from their “Big Generator” album. Trevor plays and sings vocals along with Jon Anderson.


TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Psalm 115:18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 142:5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Psalm 108:3-4 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 25:1-5 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new
day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome
by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through
Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.


Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Call on Jesus’ Life.” Jesus, though God in the flesh, still maintained an “all-consuming thirst for the Father.” We must be careful, as well, to note that Jesus’s thirst for the Father, his personal prayer, private devotions, and “delighting in God’s intimate presence” were not accomplished while, at the same time, being oblivious to the world around him and its need for “redemption, justice, and peace.” Jesus had a great desire to “reveal his father in serving the poor, the captive, the blind, and all who are in need.” Jesus’s mission consumed him, and it was the holiness of the Father that drove him. He also never stayed in one place for very long. “Others might stay behind preoccupied with security, sensation, and power, but Jesus went on without stopping, always driven by the vision of the mission that impelled him.” While the demands of our own lives and culture may not allow us to be quite so transient, we cannot afford to perform our devotions, prayers, and Bible studies, and remain oblivious to our world around us. We must engage our culture in our mission to make disciples.

Luke 8:1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him.


Father, show me the path to walk in which I will be most effective for you in the task of being a disciple of Christ, and of leading others to be disciples as well. I have been fearful of this task, for some reason. Give me courage to be a disciple. Give me the assurance that you will finish what you have started in me. Show me how to continue my devotion, perhaps even intensifying it, while at the same time engaging the world around me with the gospel. Show me how to present Christ to a needy world without being abrasive or harsh. Show me how to love, how to spread compassion with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I pray for this day, this Monday. I am glad to be alive today, to be walking and breathing. May our drive to and from work be safe. Give us a good work day today, giving us the grace to do our jobs efficiently and well. May we meet all challenges with grace and peace in our lives. Help us to be your peace to those around us during our work day. I pray for Stephanie, that she might be granted understanding and peace today. Show her your path for her.

I pray for Alicia, as she has to make funeral plans today, and for Brandon as he meets with a lawyer. Give them both extreme peace in the face of unpleasant and sorrowful situations. Show them your peace, fill them with your Holy Spirit.

Your grace is sufficient.


The call of Jesus is also on our lives, if we call ourselves “Christian.” We cannot remain oblivious to the needs of our world.

Grace and peace, friends.