Government One-a-Day Tuesday 12/21/21

A life worthy

…and the government will be on his shoulders. (Isaiah 9:6)

Here’s the thing with governments—they’re generally made up of people.  And, well, I hate to tell you this, but people tend toward selfishness and greed.

I just heard a bubble burst out there…sorry.

Republics work, except when the people are ignorant, selfish, and lazy.


Same holds true for Communism, by the way–as well as pure democracies, feudal societies, even theocracies.  On paper, they look great.  It’s when you add the people that things go all wonky.

Frankly, the best, strongest, most efficient form of government is a benevolent dictatorship.  The problem, of course, is that you can guarantee the dictator part, but not the benevolent bit.


But guess what, Beloved?  The day will come when we will have an absolute monarch, a king of kings, who will rule with complete authority over all nations.  His reign will be perfect, unhampered by greed, unsullied by sin.  He will know what’s best, want what’s best, do what’s best.

He will be what’s best.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

The Child One-a-Day Monday 12/20/21

A life worthy

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…  (Isaiah 9:6)

I don’t know if there is anything more exciting than the birth of a baby.   The feeling of joy, of life, that you get from holding a newborn—it’s astounding.  It doesn’t even have to be your child.  It can be a nephew, or a cousin, or the child of a friend.  Hey, it could be a random kid from the maternity ward that you grabbed just for the experience.

Not that you would ever do that because that would be wrong and earn you psychiatric evaluations and the serious threat of incarceration.

My point is this: Hope arrives with every baby.

How wonderful is it that God chose to bring Christ to us in this way?  Think about it—the Christ could have appeared fully grown, striding out of the desert on a Thursday morning.  He could have simply walked into the temple and started preaching.  Instead, we get to see him as a baby—yes, so that his genealogy could be verified and so that prophecy would be fulfilled—but also so that we could see a God willing to humble himself by birth, as he would one day humble himself by death.

Your God loves you so much that he sent a baby—the epitome of life—to call you to eternal life.

Heed the call, Beloved.

Happy Monday

Places One-a-Day Thursday  12/17/20

A life worthy

Places One-a-Day Thursday  12/17/20

Oh, Yeah, life goes on

Long after the thrill of living is gone…

A singularly depressing and unwholesome song, yet possessing a kernel of truth.

I’ve rambled on before about how theater is kind of a metaphor for life.  I think of this again as I prepare for the final weekend of Elf. It happens about this point in about every show.  Call time may be 1:00 p.m., but it will be 1:10…1:20…1:25 before all of us have dragged our sorry bones into the seats.  There is often a pervasive sense of…blah.  I’m sorry—blah is a technical term.  It means ennui, or lassitude.  In any case, it will take some doing for us to rise to the occasion.

They tell me this is common in the theater.  You go through the work of rehearsal, building a show piece by piece.  The tension and excitement increase as you get closer and closer to opening.  Finally, there is the pure adrenalin rush of opening night.  This rush takes you through the Saturday evening show and the Sunday matinee.

Then you go home.

For five days.

When the next week rolls around, and the next, and the next, you can find that, in part, the idea of performing has slipped from the category of “get to” into “have to.”

It’s not new anymore.

But the audience deserves a show—the very best you have in you.  They paid for it, after all, and you promised it.

So you pray, you dig deep, and you go through the motions of setting props, getting into costumes, checking mics.  And somewhere in the process, you rediscover the joy that brought you here in the first place.

See the multitudinous connections?

Of course you do–you’re brilliant.

Hmm…marriage.  Most marriages—even Christian marriages—end in divorce.  Why?  Because the fun wears off, the adrenalin rush passes, and we get…blah.    But your spouse deserves the best you have in you.  They paid for it, after all, and you promised it.  So you pray, you dig deep, and keep loving, and serving, and being together.  And somewhere in the process, you rediscover the love that brought you here in the first place.

Let’s see…what about jobs?  Kids? Friendships?  Goals?  Dreams?  The pattern fits.

What about your walk with Christ?

Sometimes the joy is there, vibrant, thrumming through me like a power chord.

Sometimes not.

Sometimes, by the time my metaphorical Friday rolls around, I’m tired, drained, and flat out not in the mood.   Jesus tells me to abide in him.  To remain in him.  But—to be truthful—sometimes I’m just not into it.  I get tired. Bored.  What kind of idiot gets bored with the God of the Universe?

My kind.

Sometimes I feel like it’s all a show, and I’m just not up for it.

But I have an audience, and He deserves the very best that is in me.

He paid for it.

I promised it.

So I pray, I dig deep, and yes, sometimes I go through the motions.  I set the props, I put on the costume, I check my mic.  And somewhere in the process, I rediscover the powerful, sustaining love that brought me here in the first place.

Places, everyone.

Prosper Us One-a-Day Thursday 12/16/20

A life worthy

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar (Psalm 51:18-19).

David concludes this very personal prayer with an appeal for his people.

I like that. It’s classy.

David asks God to bless his people, so that they might glorify Him.  Perhaps that’s a prayer we can join in today. Maybe we ask God that we take all the blessings he showers on us and use them to praise his name.

Beloved, consider all that you deserve, but have not received.

Consider all that you do not deserve, but have received.

It could be so different, couldn’t it?

Offer up a sacrifice of praise today. I suggest we skip the burnt offering–that might be problematic. Instead, praise him with your voice and your heart and your time and your obedience.

He is always listening.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

What God Wants One-a-Day Wednesday 12/15/21

A life worthy

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Psalm 51:16-17).

He doesn’t want your stuff.

He doesn’t want your show.

He wants you.

Take that into your day, Beloved.

Happy Wednesday

Response One-a-Day Tuesday 12/14/21

A life worthy

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from blood guilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise (Psalm 51:13-15).

What, we got a little quid pro quo going on here?  Is David trying to make a deal with God, sort of you-help-me-out-here-and-I’ll-do-you-a-solid-down-the-line?

Yeah, no, I don’t think so.

David knows better than to bargain with God.  He has already thrown himself on God’s mercy and acknowledged that he can do nothing without God’s strength.

But David is making a promise.  He promises that he will give God full credit for restoring David.  He will help others to learn from his mistakes. David will spread the word of God’s righteousness at the top of his lungs, and he will do everything in his power to bring God glory.

Have you ever done that, Beloved?  Have you ever been so carried away by God’s goodness that you vowed to declare his praises to the world?

Um…this is a bit of an awkward question…but…did you follow through?

Follow through, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday.

Restoration One-a-Day Monday 12/13/21

A life worthy

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12).

Boy, that David.  It’s all gimme, gimme, gimme with him, isn’t it?

Forgive my sins!

Cleanse me with hyssop!

Create in me a pure heart!

Stay close to me!

Restore my joy!

Renew my spirit!

Yep, David asks and asks and asks…

And God gives and gives and gives.

Remember that, Beloved.

Happy Monday

Stay With Me One-a-Day Friday 12/10/21

A life worthy

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11).


After all that he has done, after all the grief he has caused, in the face of all the consequences of his most heinous crimes, David has one thing going for him.

He has finally gotten his priorities straightened out.

I mean, I think I’m on safe theological ground if I say that David’s priorities were a little out of whack going into this.  Adultery, conspiracy, murder—not exactly in line with God’s truth. David was no longer content for the Lord to be his shepherd.  He wanted to be Captain of his own fate, Master of his own soul.

And look where it got him.


By the grace of God, David got his head and his heart straight.  He realized his true danger—and it wasn’t the danger of embarrassment, or losing his kingdom, or even being executed for his crimes.

The true danger was losing God’s presence in his life.

David realized that there is nothing, no thing, as valuable as knowing and being known by his Lord.  It is the one thing he was most terrified of losing.


Beloved, do you realize that, post-resurrection, we have the opportunity for a closer relationship with God than even David knew?

Live in that relationship today.  Take a few moments to simply be with Him.  Enjoy his presence. Fellowship with the Lord of the Universe.  Such is your right, your privilege, and your joy.

Because you are his Beloved.

Happy Friday

A Pure Heart One-a-Day Thursday 12/9/21

A life worthy

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

David gets it.

He doesn’t make any excuses before God, and he doesn’t make any promises he knows he can’t keep.  I mean, some of us—and by us, I mean me—would be tempted to tell God all about how we’re going to do better, try harder, be more.  We would try to convince God that, if he would just give us a second chance—or third, or eighty-seventh—we wouldn’t disappoint him.  David knows that’s bunk. He will never be clean unless God cleans him. He will never be reliable unless God builds that in him. He will never be of any use to God unless God does the work through him.

Yep, David gets it.

Do we?

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Blot it Out One-a-Day Wednesday 12/8/21

A life worthy

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity (Psalm 51:9).

“Wow, I hope nobody saw that.”

How many times have you thought those words?

Oh, come on—it’s more than that and you know it.

When you do something embarrassing, you simply don’t want people looking at you.  Whether it’s missing the easy shot, tripping over your own feet, or walking into the only tetherball pole in an entire acre of middle school asphalt—all of which I have done—you don’t want an audience.  You kinda want the ground to open up and swallow you, just so that no one can look at you.

When you do something truly wrong—when you intentionally sin—that feeling goes way past embarrassment.

It becomes shame.

And you would do anything, just anything, to turn back the clock, to undo what you did, or at least to dissolve into the ground, just so that no one can look at you.

David gets you.  He’s been there, only bigger.  He cried out to God to look away from him, to act as if he hadn’t seen David’s sin.  He begged his Lord to take the sin away, to make it as though it had never occurred.

And God did.

Consequences?  Oh, yes, there were consequences.

There always are.

But David’s relationship with God was restored,

and in the end

that’s all that matters.

God did that because David was his Beloved.

Oh, yeah—you and I are Beloved, too.

Take that into your day.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.