Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lent Day 36

Thank You for family, Lord. Thank You for my wife. Thank You for my job, for our home, for our vehicles. Thank You for food and drink, a warm bed, and a television to watch the Spartans. Thank You for never leaving us needing anything - You always provide. 
Blessed be the name of the LORD!
Blessed be God forever!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Lent Day 35

Izzo crying after Sparty beat Louisville yestreday, Trice giving glory to God after the victory with his mom right behind him crying and nodding her head in agreement emphatically, Will Tieman calling every high- and low-light as only he can

Friday, March 27, 2015

Lent Day 33

From Les Miserables, the locals are discussing matters of import on the eve of revolt:

Marius, you're no longer a child
I do not doubt you mean it well
But now there is a higher call
Who cares about your lonely soul
We strive toward a larger goal
Our little lives don't count at all!

Sometimes I get so caught up in what's going on in my little life... my bills, my health, my job, my house, my car, my future, my family, my __?__, my __?__, my __?__, my __?__ , MY MY MY MY MY MY MY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

... ... ...

Dear Lord,
Help me to think bigger than this. Help me to remember that there are people all over this world who need my prayers; people who are suffering and exulting and thinking and thanking and grieving and praising and living and dying.
Help me to remember others before I focus so much on myself.
Help me to do more for others.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lent Day 32

To-day is March 26, 2015, Thursday in the fifth week of Lent.

The daily flip calendar that sits on my desk at work has short, good readings for each day - most of these discuss friendships and love. To-day's verse is by John Keats, a 19th century English Romantic poet. It reads:
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.
And since we are diligently taught that beauty is both only 'skin-deep' and often found only in the eye of the beholder, I am sorely vexed.
Paraphrased, I read

If a thing is beautiful to me (even thought that beauty is surficial), then it is a joy forever.
It just keeps getting lovelier, and will never be nothing.

... ... ...

See, this is why I never liked poetry (or romance, for that matter).

In math's, eight sevens equals 56 (in spite of what my creative nephew Benjamin would tell me).

In a right triangle, the sum of the squares of the legs equals the square of the hypotenuse. Always.
I can prove it. Indeed it has been proven by many and in many different ways over the last couple of thousand years. There are no 'exceptions' to that rule. It is. It's always true.

Joy is relative. Beauty we have discussed. Loveliness depends on point of view.
Nothingness may mean zero or 0; but zero is really something. It has a place on the number line. It has been the ending monthly balance of my checking account more often than not.
Nothingness, I think, is a concept much deeper.

Nothing - the lack of anything

I imagine a Venn Diagram with two non-intersecting (we call them disjoint) sets. The one on the left is full of containers that have at least one item. The one on the right has an empty container - filled with nothing.

... ... ...

Dearest Father, 

My mind's eye is giving me a vision of what it may be like without You...

Dark, lacking, empty, ...

I don't like that thought.

Fill me with Your Spirit, let me never be separated from You!
Look past my sin, Lord, that I might never enter into that darkness.

Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lent Day 31

"Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted"
by Thomas Kelly, 1769-1854

(verse 3 is a sermon written for me)

1. Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See Him dying on the tree!
'Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, 'tis He! 'tis He!
'Tis the long-expected Prophet,
David's Son, yet David's Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it:
'Tis the true and faithful Word.

2. Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning,
Was there ever grief like His?
Friends through fear His cause disowning,
Foes insulting His distress;
Many hands were raised to wound Him,
None would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that Justice gave.

3. Ye who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed,
See who bears the awful load;
Son of Man and Son of God.

4. Here we have a firm foundation;
Here the refuge of the lost;
Christ's the Rock of our salvation,
His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on Him their hope have built.

The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #153
Text: Is. 53:3-5
Author: Thomas Kelly, 1804
Tune: "O mein Jesu, ich muss sterben"
1st Published in:_Geistliche VolksliederTown: Paderborn, 1850

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lent Day 30

For all the deepest thought compiled,
philosophy to laws of physics
no one's ever heard or seen,
a more beautiful thing,
than this love that saved us.

In the soundless awe and wonder,
words fall short to hope again.
How beautiful,
how vast Your love is,
new forever,
world without an end.

The very spark that burns the stars,
drew near to me today,
the God of everything that is,
whispered in my ear that His love is boundless.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lent Day 29

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, "My God, how great Thou art!"
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

 Thank you to Hymntime.com

Words: Stuart K. Hine. In 1885, at age 26, Swedish preacher Carl G. Boberg wrote the words only of a poem entitled O Store Gud. Several years later, Boberg attended a meeting and was surprised to hear his poem being sung to the tune of an old Swedish melody.
In the early 1920s, English missionaries, Stuart K. Hine and his wife, ministered in Poland. It was there they learned the Russian version of Boberg’s poem, O Store Gud, coupled with the original Swedish melody. Later, Hine wrote original English words and made his own arrangement of the Swedish melody, which became popular and is now known as the hymn, How Great Thou Art.
The first three verses were inspired, line upon line, amidst unforgettable experiences in the Carpathian Mountains. In a village to which he had climbed, Mr. Hine stood in the street singing a Gospel Hymn and reading aloud, John, Chapter Three. Among the sympathetic listeners was a local village schoolmaster. A storm was gathering, and when it was evident that no further travel could be made that night, the friendly schoolmaster offered his hospitality. Awe-inspiring was the mighty thunder echoing through the mountains, and it was this impression that was to bring about the birth of the first verse.
Pushing on, Hine crossed the mountain frontier into Romania and into Bukovina. Together with some young people, through the woods and forest glades he wandered, and heard the birds sing sweetly in the trees. Thus, the second verse came into being. Verse three was inspired by the conversion of many Carpathian mountain-dwellers. The fourth verse did not come about until Hine’s return to Britain.

 Source: click here

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lent Day 27

My Lord and my God,

This morning my heart has been heavy...
so I pray 
for those who do not yet know You - come to them
for those who think they know You better than another - show them more of You
for those who are hurting this morning - ease their pain
for those who are lost - bring them home
for those who are grieving - comfort them
for those who are lost - guide them with your truth
for those who have no one to pray for them - show them your mercies
for those who would hurt others - change their hearts
for those who think things should be easier - remind us how easy it was for Jesus

for our young people immersed in a dark culture - call them to Your light
for Francis and all the priests and bishops - guide them with Your Spirit
for Your Church all over the world - lead us to love as You do

LORD, in Your mercy - hear our prayer.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lent Day 26

"A Christian life whose weekly high point is essentially a concert followed by a lecture (even a very good lecture) is not going to have the kind of otherworldly power as one where you get to eat and drink God. It just can't hold a candle."

---Fr. Andrew Damick

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lent Day 25

For the end of worship, or the end of the day, from The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #47

"Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise"
by John Ellerton, 1826-1893

1. Savior, again to Thy dear name we raise
With one accord our parting hymn of praise.
Once more we bless Thee ere our worship cease,
Then, lowly bending, wait Thy word of peace.

2. Grant us Thy peace upon our homeward way;
With Thee began, with Thee shall end, the day;
Guard Thou the lips from sin, the hearts from shame,
That in this house have called upon Thy name.

3. Grant us Thy peace, Lord, through the coming night;
Turn Thou for us its darkness into light.
From harm and danger keep Thy children free,
For dark and light are both alike to Thee.

4. Grant us Thy peace throughout our earthly life,
Our balm in sorrow and our stay in strife;
Then, when Thy voice shall bid our conflict cease,
Call us, O Lord, to Thine eternal peace.


Text: Psalm 110:2
Author: John Ellerton, 1866
Tune: "Ellers"
Composer: Edward J. Hopkins, 1869

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lent Day 24

My mind wanders...

When I'm conversing with my wife, when I'm being given directives by my boss, when I'm driving, when I pray...
Here, there, past, present, future, all over!

What could I have done? What should I have done? I did THAT? I wish I never did that. I'm glad I did that.

What to do next? Where should I be? What should I do? What needs done? What can I procrastinate on? What game am I missing? What song am I missing? What are the birds doing? What email did I miss? What highlight do I need to see in order to discuss at the water cooler? What pathetically trivial event is everyone discussing, that I might not be out of the loop?

Where will we live? What will we drive? Where will we work? What care will we need? Who will wash me? Who will FEED me?

... ... ...

Forgive me, Lord.

Forgive me for not trusting enough to be able to 

~remember that the past is just the past and it is past and I cannot change a thing cuz it has passed;

~remember that whoever (or Whoever) I am engaging right now is THE MOST IMPORTANT person (or Person) in world and I need worry about nothing else just now; and 

~remember that You told us Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matt 6:34 AV).

Your ways are so much loftier than my ways!

Your righteousness shines like the sun!

Your love conquers all!

Day by day new mercies I see! 

Blessed be God forever!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lent Day 23


Thank You for reminding me of my initial Lenten focus, and the mindset that I began this forty day journey with. 

Thank You for being so patient. 

Thank You for Your love, expressed through the Christ.

I pray for those mourning to-day.

I pray for those grieving to-day.

I pray for those who miss someone to-day, whether they miss a person or a pet.

Be their Sufficiency, their All-in-All.

Blessed be God forever!



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dismantling the Ramp

Working outside in the early spring sunshine and I kept on thinking I needed to let Si outside so she could be with me and enjoy the sunshine with me and look at me like she used to when she would watch me ...

So hard it has been for both of us, Lord. 

Thank You for the time we had with her, and thank You for keeping her so healthy and active for so long. She truly was the Mal-Methuselah.

Blessed be God forever!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lent Day 22

To-day is my sweetie's birthday;

and we had to put our Malamute down.

We are sad, we are grieving, for we were her people for 15 years.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Lent Day 21

"God Himself Is Present"

by Gerhard Tersteegen, 1697-1769
Translated by Frederick W. Foster, 1760-1835

1. God Himself is present:
Let us now adore Him
And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple--
All within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence.
Him alone God we own,
Him, our God and Savior;
Praise His name forever.

2. God Himself is present:
Hear the harps resounding;
See the hosts the throne surrounding!
"Holy, holy, holy"--
Hear the hymn ascending,
Songs of saints and angels blending.
Bow Thine ear To us here:
Hear, O Christ, the praises
That Thy Church now raises.

3. O Thou Fount of blessing,
Purify my spirit,
Trusting only in Thy merit.
Like the holy angels,
Who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee.
Let Thy will Ever still
Rule Thy Church terrestrial
As the hosts celestial.

The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #4

Text: Hab. 2:20
Author: Gerhard Tersteegen, 1729, cento
Translated by: Frederick W. Foster, c.1826, alt.
Titled: "Gott ist gegenwaertig"
Composer: Joachim Neander, 1680
Tune: "Wunderbarer Koenig"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lent Day 20

Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of Your faithful
and kindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth Your Spirit, and we shall be created, 
and you shall renew the face of the earth.

Oh God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit
instructs the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by that same Holy Spirit 
we may be truly wise,
and ever rejoice in His consolations.

Through Christ our Lord, amen


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lent Day 19

 The Litany of Humility

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,
   Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val.

Copied most humbly from a post on by Kevin P. Edgecomb

Thank you to Bombaxo.com:  http://www.bombaxo.com/blog/the-litany-of-humility/

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lent Day 18

Father ~

I do again ask for Your intervention for those who have recently asked me to pray. Calm the souls, encourage the hearts, and keep steadfast the minds of those involved - your children.

I pray for every married couple, that we may each abandon our self-interests and seek only the good of our spouses - like Christ does for His bride, the Church. This is difficult often, Lord, and old habits are not easily broken. But give us the strength to press on, and we praise Your Name!

Blessed be God forever!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lent Day 17

Lord, change my heart.

May I seek You and Your kingdom FIRST!

May I rejoice in YOU, and not my possessions.

May my hope rest in YOU, and not the food I look forward to.

May YOU satisfy my spiritual hunger; fill me with YOU!

Do not hold back; fill me with YOU!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lent Day 16

"A Mighty Fortress is Our God"
by Dr. Martin Luther, 1483-1546

1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

4. That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Hymn #262
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46
Author: Martin Luther, 1529
Translated by: composite
Titled: "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott"
Composer: Martin Luther, 1529
Tune: "Ein' feste Burg"
1st Published in: Klug's Gesangbuch
Town: Wittenberg, 1529

Friday, March 6, 2015

Lent Day 15

20 pieces of silver

The brothers of Joseph were that much richer, after they sold him into slavery.

He was the obvious favorite of father Israel, who begat Joseph in his old age.

And as such, he was despised by his brothers.

... ... ...

'Despised' describes such a strong emotion; hatred, loathing...

And towards their own brother!

Lord, when my natural tendencies take me in that direction, please steer me clear.

Let my heart be more like Yours.

Give my heart compassion in stead of despising

Change me into a lover, not a loather

Help me to always remember how much YOU sacrificed for me;

that I might learn to sacrifice/slay/abandon my self.

Praise and honor and glory to you, LORD!

The joy of the LORD is my strength!

THIS is the day the LORD has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lent Day 14


Job reminds us that You give, and You take away, but forever and always we bless be the Name of the LORD!

We commit to you the soul of my Uncle Art. Be near to Aunt Dorothy during her time of mourning.

O Lord, grant those who have died the joy of Your Presence, 
and us who are living the happiness of knowing this.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lent Day 13

Always teaching, aren't You?

Always giving me opportunities to do better, chances to love someone un-self-ish-ly, ...

Tough, sometimes - most of the time it seems

... ... ... 

Thank You for not giving up on me...

Your love is astronomical.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lent Day 12


Signs of hope

Reminders of hope

Instances that bring me back to hope in You...
what I may have read, what I may have heard, what I may have experienced

In the midst of circumstances that I know I cannot bear alone...

You remind me.

You re-tell the story of Creation - Who was it that did that?!?

You re-tell the plethora of tales in which I dug my self a hole and You let down a ladder.

You bring to mind, again and again, the sweet-ness of Your mercy,

the great-ness of Your grace.

... ... ...

Forgive me when I lack trust, and lose hope.
Forgive me my discouragement.

And thank You for the promises we cling to, the hope we share.

Blessed be God forever!