A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Teach Us to Number Our Days

Although 2020 has been filled with crises and challenges, the months have provided unexpected blessings. The pandemic has taught us that health is fragile and life is transitory. Therefore, we should note what is important and ignore what is trivial. However, this fleeting lesson is soon forgotten.

I invite you to join me in a spiritual experiment. Commit Psalm 90:12 to memory. For the rest of the year, begin each morning reciting the verse. May God grant us the grace to number our days so that we might gain hearts of wisdom.

Psalm 90: A Prayer of Moses, the Man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
    Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
    your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.

Augmented Reality

In 1990, a Boeing researcher named Tom Caudell coined the phrase “augmented reality.” In layman’s terms, it is technology that superimposes computer generated graphics over a real world view.

Military Jet HUD

One example is the Heads Up Displays used in advanced aircraft, which display critical information on the airplane’s cockpit or the pilot’s visor. Car manufacturers make similar tech available in automobiles. For instance, my GMC Yukon features a HUD with a windshield display for the speed limit, current speed, radio selections, and more.

The Christian faith graces believers with an augmented reality. Our spiritual faith is superimposed over the physical world. It enables us to distinguish between the important and the unimportant along with the eternal and the temporal. Such information guides our steps and informs our actions.

Although we are citizens of both heaven and earth, our ultimate allegiance is pledged to God’s kingdom. We live in an augmented reality that reveals what is truly real.

Election Day

Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Today is Election Day in the United States of America.

We will elect the President of the United States along with other national, state, and local offices. As we prayerfully await the results, consider a lesson from history.

In the 1830s, French author, Alexis de Tocqueville, toured the United States and later reflected about his experience. He wrote:

I have toured America, and I have seen most of what you offer. I’ve seen the richness of the fields and the wealth of your mines. I’ve seen your industrial might, the beauties of the rivers, the streams, the lakes, and the grandeur of the mountains. I’ve noticed the abundance of the forests and the marvelous climate with which you are blessed.

In none of these things did I see the cause for the greatness of America.

It wasn’t until I went into your churches that I saw the reason for America’s greatness. America is great because America is good; and as long as America is good, America will be great. If it ever ceases to be good, it will cease to be great.

Today, let us pray for our nation.

May God bless America, land that we love.