Good morning. Today is “pre-Friday,” October 25, 2012. Today is “Sourest Day.” I don’t think I want to participate in that! Unless it involves eating some really sour candy. I might do that.
On this date in 1760, George III became King of Great Britain.
John Adams and Abigail Smith were married on this date in 1764.
On this date in 1938, the Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, was quoted as saying that swing music leads young people down a “primrose path to hell.” Was that Dubuque, Iowa??
Nelson Mandela was sentenced to five years in prison on this date in 1962.
On this date in 1980, AC/DC had their first top 40 hit with “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
On this date in 2002, Richard Harris died of cancer at the age of 72. Someone left the cake out in the rain.
On this date in 2004, Fidel Castro banned any transactions using U.S. dollars.
Today’s birthdays include Johann Strauss II, 1825, Georges Bizet, 1838, Pablo Picasso, 1881, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, 1888, Smoky Joe Wood (baseball pitcher), 1889, Minnie Pearl, 1912, Bobby Thompson, 1923, Marion Ross (Happy Days), 1928, Helen Reddy, 1941, Jon Anderson (Yes), 1944, Katy Perry, 1984.
We finally got back to the gym last night. Well, Stephanie and I did. Christi didn’t make it, because she was late getting out of work. She was actually planning to try it last night. She says she is going to try tonight.
The World Series started last night. Well, it started for the Giants. The Tigers forgot to show up. Giants win 8-3. I have a theory about this. It reminds me of 2007 when the Rockies swept the NLCS, then had to sit around while the Red Sox and Indians battled for seven games in the ALCS. The Sox continued on and swept the Rockies in the World Series. Am I saying the Giants are going to sweep? No. I’m not making a prediction, I’m just comparing. The Tigers looked like a team that had lost all momentum last night, while the Giants continued on a roll that goes back five games, now. In the last five games, they have outscored their opponents, 36-5. Hopefully, the Tigers can bounce back tonight. Oh, and that guy they call “The Panda,” Pablo Sandoval, hit THREE HOME RUNS last night. In three consecutive at-bats! That’s only been done four previous times in MLB history. It’s what earned Reggie Jackson the nickname, “Mr. October.” The feat has also been accomplished by Albert Pujols (just last year) and Babe Ruth, who did it twice. Go figure.
Father, I pray for a fresh revelation of you this morning, as I look into your word.
Today, I’m reading Psalm 126. This “Song of Ascents” is a song of hope and encouragement.
1 A Song of Ascents. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb!
5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
In the Father’s perfect timing, “whose who sow in tears,” will come home “with shouts of joy.”
Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “The Eternal Crush of Things.” The scripture reference is 1 Corinthians 9:22, which says, I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. We must learn how to be “God’s noble man or woman amid a crowd of ignoble things.” Chambers cautions against praying to be somewhere else. “If only I were somewhere else!” There is not a Christian servant who has ever lived who was more than an ordinary person made extraordinary by what God gave them. We all need to hear that and hear it well. Even the great prayer giant, George Muller, said that he was nothing special. Over and over in his autobiography, he stated that anyone could do what he was doing. “Unless we have the right matter in our minds intellectually and in our hearts affectionately, we will be hustled out of usefulness to God.” And even though some of us may think we are, we are not servants by choice! If we “chose” to be God’s workers, if it was our “decision,” then there is nothing of God’s grace involved in it. I didn’t choose to start praying like I’m praying every day. That would not have been the ministry I pursued. At the same time, I don’t say that God “forced” me into it. I still insist, though, that it was no choice of mine. I understand if that makes no sense. Paul had one thing on his mind. That one thing was “what Jesus Christ came to do.” My one thing, that which I face myself with every day, must be “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
God has chosen me. That must be central in my “creed.” “It is not that you have got God but that He has got you.” He is at work; he bends, he breaks, he molds, he does as he pleases. Why? Well, we don’t always know, do we? But we do know that it is so that he can point at us and say, “This is My man, My woman.”
“Never choose to be a worker, but when God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left.” God will accomplish things through me that I never accomplished before he began this calling. What is true for me is true for all of us…God will do something through each of us that he is not doing through anyone else. “Let Him have His way.”
I’m reminded of a hymn written by Cyrus S. Nusbaum in 1898, called “His Way With Thee.
Would you live for Jesus, and be always pure and good?
Would you walk with Him within the narrow road?
Would you have Him bear your burden, carry all your load?
Let Him have His way with thee.
His power can make you what you ought to be;
His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;
His love can fill your soul, and you will see
’Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.
Would you have Him make you free, and follow at His call?
Would you know the peace that comes by giving all?
Would you have Him save you, so that you can never fall?
Let Him have His way with thee.
Would you in His kingdom find a place of constant rest?
Would you prove Him true in providential test?
Would you in His service labor always at your best?
Let Him have His way with thee.
My favorite line in there is the first line of the refrain, “His power can make you what you ought to be.” His power is the only thing that can make me what I ought to be. And it is that power at work in me that is producing the daily prayers being lifted up to the Father’s throne. That is not a boast in anything I am doing. I want to be perfectly clear on that. It is a boast in the power of Almighty God to do amazing things with a “jar of clay.”
Father, I praise you for your mighty power. That power that is at work withing me is the same power, according to scripture, that was displayed when Jesus Christ was risen from the dead. We forget that, Lord. I know I have. I’m constantly forgetting what is going on here. You do things in my life that are amazing, and I remember for a while that you are at work. Then the drudgery of daily life sets in, and I get bored with things (a sinful thing in itself). I fall into the trap of worry, of being anxious for things. I forget that you have told me, “Be anxious for nothing…” Lately, you have reminded me that there is no need to be anxious. That peace, that passes all understanding, is falling on me. I’m learning the truth of Paul’s statement (the one that I state at the end of a lot of my prayers), “Your grace is sufficient.” Actually, it’s your statement, Lord, not Paul’s. You said “My grace is sufficient.” And it is, it truly is.
I want to see you accomplish things in me that have never been done before; I want to see your power at work in my life. It doesn’t matter if anyone else can see it or not! That’s not why I’m here. I’m here for one thing, to glorify you through Jesus Christ. You, Jesus, are my “one thing.” I don’t want to be anywhere else. I don’t want to be doing anything else other than what I am doing right now. I only want to fulfill your desire for me, to be what you want me to be, right here, right now. I’m no longer looking for a future ministry or a future career. The ministry is here and now. “It’s on,” as they say.
Jesus, may your life be formed in me. I pray that you make me
poor in spirit;
hungry and thirsty for righteousness;
pure in heart;
These are the characteristics of your life, and I would see them in mine. Live through me.
I pray for this day. I pray for healing for Christi. Her back is hurting this morning. I pray for relief for her. I pray that you teach us what we need to learn from this pain. Teach us to depend on you. Teach us to love you. Show your love to Christi today as she goes about her business. I pray that you wrap your Spirit around her and protect her from high stress levels. I pray for Stephanie today, that you would draw her heart into yours. Give her purpose for her life. I pray for my work day. There is a circumstance that threatens to make this day somewhat hectic. I pray for your hand of peace and calm on this day.
Your grace is sufficient.
One last thing this morning before I leave…Mike Johnson needs a job, Lord. But you know that. Unemployed since last December. I pray that you act on his behalf, quickly, Lord. Bring something to him soon.
All of this has made me think of a song. Heh. Imagine that, right? I leave you with this. “My One Thing.” Rich Mullins
Grace and peace, friends.