Worthy of Praise One-a-Day Thursday  11/2/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy… (Philippians 4:8)

So here’s the question.

That thought you’re having, that movie currently running in your head–if your child or spouse or friend or brother were having that thought, would you praise them?  Would you say, “Hey, Bro, way to go! I’m so glad I climbed into your noggin this morning! Stellar thought life!”  

Yes? Then that thought is praiseworthy.

No? Then…

Sorry, Beloved, but it really is that simple.

Happy Thursday

Excellent  One-a-Day Wednesday    11/1/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent… (Philippians 4:8)

Excellent

The word conjures up two images for me.

First, I think of my elementary school days.  We didn’t use A, B, C grades until Junior High; in elementary we used E, S, and N.  E stood for–you guessed it–Excellent. That there was top-notch. When report card time came around, I was competing with my friends to see who had the most E’s.

Because I was a nerd.

The other image? That would be Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Because I am a child of the 80s.

As you go through your day today, don’t settle for mediocre thoughts and so-so time with God.  Go for top-notch. Think excellent thoughts, Dude.

I mean, Beloved.

Happy Wednesday.

October Thanksgiving  One-a-Day Tuesday    10/31/17

A life worthy

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Today is Halloween.  A day on which this fallen world celebrates death and darkness.  Oh, they wrap it in candy and pumpkins, but it is what it is.

Maybe today could be your personal Thanksgiving. Make a point of noticing the blessings in your life.  Point them out to your friends and praise God together.  Pick your favorite worship song and get it stuck in your head.  In short, fill yourself with life, not death…with light, not darkness.

Yes, you can still eat candy.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Admirable One-a-Day Monday    10/30/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…(Philippians 4:8)

I like a lot of people.

I love some.

I respect a few.

Admire? Well, now you’re well into single digits.

Today, I’m going to try to think about that handful of people, and the the things they do that make me want to emulate them, that make me wish I were more like them. I’ll forget a lot, and I’ll get distracted, but I’ll get back to it. That’s just the way my brain works.

What about you, Beloved?  Who do you admire? Why? How can you incorporate those traits about them which are admirable into the rest of your life?

Or how about just into the rest of your Today?

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Lovely One-a-Day Friday  10/27/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…(Philippians 4:8)

My wife is lovely.

My daughter is lovely.

I get to think of them all day?  

Cool beans

The word “Lovely” means exquisitely beautiful, and my ladies are certainly that.  But the word has a deeper meaning.  When I think of “Lovely,” I think of something that quiets my spirit, that brings my soul rest and refreshment. Lovely things are evidence of God’s beauty and grace in the world.  How can it be that the God of thunder and lightning and earthquake and hurricane and tsunami is also the God of snowflake and fern leaf and butterfly wing and dandelion fluff–

which I know are weed seeds, but don’t spoil the mood.

Lovely is an aspect of God’s glory that I don’t often take enough time to notice, much less appreciate.

Today I shall.

Care to join me, Beloved?

Happy Friday.

Pure One-a-Day Thursday  10/26/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,whatever is pure…(Philippians 4:8).

Ivory soap bugs me.

Oh, the soap itself is fine–smells nice and lathers well.

It’s the advertizing.

They say that the stuff is 99.44 percent pure.

You can’t say that.  “Pure” is an absolute.  You can’t have partly pure.

You can’t even have mostly pure.

It’s either pure

or it isn’t.

Paul tells us to think about what is pure.   

Good luck with that.

I mean it.  Well, not the luck part.  Instead, I wish you grace as you plow through the sociocesspool that we call Thursday.  Keep your eyes fixed on Christ and your thoughts centered on glory, and try not to slip in the muck.

And if, by chance, you do, the One who calls you Beloved will clean you up–and he’s got something much better that Ivory soap.

Although I do like Ivory soap.  Please don’t sue me, Proctor and Gamble. I’m a poor and simple man.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Right  One-a-Day Wednesday    10/25/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right…(Philippians 4:8).

“Right” is kind of like “Truth.”

The world will tell you that it is subjective, that what is right for you may not be right for me.

The world is wrong.  Enormously, abundantly, horrifically, dangerously wrong.

Wow, that sounds awfully narrow-minded of me.

Yep

“Narrow is the path…” and all that.

You see, it would be different if we had no objective reference point for right and wrong.  If we all had to make it up as we go along, you could see how we might wonder about the right and wrong of basic issues.

But we do have an objective reference point.

We just don’t like to look at it sometimes.

For all the things that are unclear in the Bible, there are a whole big hairy bunch of things that are crystal clear.

As you move through your Wednesday, focus on that which you know is right.  Hey, here’s a thought–if you have a moment, post a comment on one “right” thing we can ponder today.  I’ll start us off:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Phil. 2:3).

That’s right.

You’re up!

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Noble  One-a-Day Tuesday    10/24/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble…(Philippians 4:8)

Noble

As in, “Worthy of or befitting nobility.”  That’s just my definition.  I don’t know if Mr. Webster would approve, but it works for me.

You, Beloved, are nobility.  Better than that, you are royalty.  You are a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Don’t rush through that thought.  

Soak in it for a bit.  

Repeat it…roll it around your soul for a moment.

OK…good.

God has pulled you out of the muck and glop of this world.  He has cleansed you, clothed you, and called you his own.  He has stood you before all the universe and said, “Hey!  This one’s mine.  Back off!”

Or something like that.

So, why would you dive back into the muck?

Why do I?

Oh, Beloved.  Our thought life should befit our new station.  The sinful thoughts, the base, the petty, the immoral–they are not just wrong; they are beneath us. They are not worthy of who we have been called to be.

Lord, help me to be the man you see when you look beneath the muck.

Can I get an “Amen?”

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

True One-a-Day Monday    10/23/17

A life worthy

Finally, brothers, whatever is true…(Philippians 4:8)

“True for you” isn’t.

Truth is not an opinion.

It does not waver or shift with the fashion.  It does not vary from situation to situation or person to person.

We live in a world that tells us there is no absolute Truth, that truth is malleable and changes through the ages.  The world tells you that you create your own truth.

The world lies.  

And you know it.

Because truth is a person.  A glorious, personal person.

Jesus said he is the way, and the truth, and the life.  He said that we would know him–the truth–and he would set us free.  So, that which is consistent with the person of Jesus Christ, that which lines up with who he is…that is true.

That which does not…is not.

Walk in truth today, Beloved.

All Donne One-a-Day Friday  10/20/17

A life worthy

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about how I sometimes wish God were not so gentle with us, that he would just muscle his way past our sins and fears and worry and guilt–and will–and make us what he has called us to be.  I know that’s not his way, and I know that his way is infinitely better.  But still…sometimes…

Anyway, the following poem by John Donne came to mind.  I’ll let him be our guest blogger for Friday.

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurp’d town to another due,

Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;

Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,

But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,

But am betroth’d unto your enemy;

Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,

Take me to you, imprison me, for I,

Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Happy Friday, Beloved.