Good morning. It is Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
Today is Paperback Book Day. What else do I even need to say about that?
I had a pretty good day yesterday. Christi’s was hectic, but she got what sounds like good news. It now sounds like the account she is working on will go until at least next June. That’s great news, if it works out that way. There was some concern that it might not last past the end of the year. Of course, she has built a pretty good relationship with one of the top people for the customer, which is always a good thing. Who knows? She might eventually wind up working for them instead of the consulting firm.
Last night’s Huddle gathering was interesting. We discussed the future. We have a couple of options. Either we can lead our own Huddle, with the intent of developing future Huddle leaders, or we can lead a “Missional Gathering” (I don’t really like that word), with the intent of reaching a community. We also have the option of leading or supporting one of either type of group. Christi and I are both unsure of what we think we need to do. We are going to have to pray about this . . . a lot!
Tonight, we are going to our pastor’s mother’s house for dinner. She is, allegedly, making chili, which is supposed to be her specialty. I can’t wait!! Oh, yes. She is also a Red Sox fan! Can it get any better??
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.
(From The Divine Hours)
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Life of Integrity.”
This life of integrity has “no room for romanticized idealism, condescending pity, or sentimental piety. When a disciple’s every response, word, and decision is motivated by compassion, he has put on Christ and walks in the way of integrity.” We must also consider that the Biblical definition of compassion includes action. If I only shed tears for the thousands of children flooding the border of Texas and Mexico, that is only emotion. But when those tears are combined with prayer or finding a way to do something about the crisis (and by do something about it, I mean trying to find a way to help the children, which is what I believe Jesus would do), it becomes compassion. This concept is further illustrated by John in his first letter.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Father in heaven, I pray for more compassion. I pray for more of the kind of compassion that produces tears when praying, like I had yesterday morning while praying for a dear woman of our church. I pray for the kind of integrity in my life that lives the life of compassion that Jesus lived. I pray that your Spirit would quench any desire to sin once and for all, that I would stop playing around with this life and begin to take it completely seriously. While I certainly realize that the future of your Church is not in the hands of humans, nevertheless, my part in this Church is largely up to what I do and don’t do. Help me to know more about Jesus, that I might be more inclined to live like him. I pray for the supernatural life of Christ to live in me, as described in Galatians 2:20, a verse that will be forever shrouded in mystery to me, because I do not, and never hope to, understand how, exactly, that works. Yet I pray for its truth in my life.
I pray for this day. May we have safe passage to and from work this morning. I pray that our jobs will go smoothly today, and that we will have a most excellent time sharing a meal with our pastor and his family tonight. We are truly looking forward to this. I pray also that we might become more hospitable and find ways to invite others into our home for fellowship. Give us insight and wisdom as to our role in the future of The Exchange and the Huddle ministry. I pray for Stephanie, that she might have wisdom and understanding. Show her your love today.
I pray for Sue Ellen Smith, this morning, that you might heal her from her kidney infection. Give grace and comfort to her family.
Your grace is sufficient.
May we consider these words from John this morning and walk in integrity and compassion.
Grace and peace, friends.