Good morning. Today is pre-Friday, January 10, 2013.
Yesterday was pretty much just another day. Nothing exceptional happened. I did get back to the gym, though, for my third workout of the year. I’ll be back tonight, with Stephanie, because she has a trainer session tonight. At least she’ll go on those nights. Christi, of course, is “out of commission” for a few weeks.
Today is “National Bittersweet Chocolate Day.” There’s a holiday I can wholeheartedly support.
On this date in 49 BC, Julius Caesar led an army across the Rubicon, defying a law by the Roman Senate that “forbade a general from bringing an army out of the province to which he was assigned.” Just before he crossed, he was reported to have said, “Jacta alea est,” which means “The die is cast.” “It was a de facto declaration of war against the Roman Republic.”
During his time as governor of the province of Cisalpine Gaul, Julius Caesar had allegedly “conquered 800 towns while defeating enemy armies totalling 3 million men,” all in the name of Rome. The Roman Senate, however, grew jealous of his success and were demanding that he report back to Rome as an “ordinary citizen.”
His action of crossing the Rubicon initiated a three-year civil war and effectively ended the age of the emperors. “Many historians consider it the most extraordinary achievement in human history.” (From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
Today’s birthday is Jim Croce, born on this date in 1943. I remember the morning that Jim Croce died in a plane crash in 1973.
Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. Psalm 71:15
I pray for a glimpse of your face this morning, as I seek you, Father. Give me the grace I need for this day.
Today I’m reading Isaiah 17:10-11.
10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow, yet the harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain.
A short passage today, with a clear message. Regardless of who this was written to, I believe the truth holds firm. If you forget God, no matter how good things get, when the pain and grief come, everything in your life will implode. This topic came up in a different reading a few days ago. When the blessings are flowing, we cannot afford to forget where they are coming from. In order for me to hold onto the strength of the Lord when the trials come, I must remember him when the blessings are there.
Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “The Glory of the Lord.” The scripture reference is 1 Kings 8:10-13.
10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD,
11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
12 Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness.
13 I have indeed built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever.”
The cloud is an ancient sign of God’s presence. There are many times that we see the appearance of the cloud of God’s glory in Exodus. In Exodus, it is “the sign of a dynamic and mysterious presence, always on the move, deigning to ‘meet’ Israel in its tent of meeting.” But here, Solomon is hoping that this cloud of glory will stay, making the temple a permanent residence. Solomon doesn’t quite understand the nature of God, and, perhaps, is attempting to serve his own desire for “a sure future for himself and his dynasty.” How do I understand God’s presence? Do I see him as “comfortably within reach, as a mysterious presence whose power is fearful?” How, exactly, is God “with us?”
I am challenged, today, to look for God’s presence the next time I am gathered with other saints. “What are the visible and invisible signs of God’s presence” in a group of believers? That’s definitely a challenge worth remembering this coming Sunday morning, when we gather to worship him.
Father, I pray that, by your Spirit, you will help me to recognize signs of your presence, in my daily life, as well as in times when I am gathered with other believers. I know we do not see your “cloud” today, but there are other evidences of your presence among us, if we would only be sensitive to recognizing them. May we all be faithful to be constantly looking for, seeing, and knowing your presence in our lives.
I pray for this day. I continue to pray for Christi’s pain relief. May the boot be going the job it is designed to to, and may her foot be healed from the stress fracture. I pray that, when this is all done with, she will be able to walk without pain. I pray for Stephanie’s day today, that she may feel better. The weather has her sinuses acting up. Christi’s too, for that matter. I also pray for a better work day today, with no issues affecting our delivery performance.
Give me grace to remember to pray for family and friends throughout this day, and show me how to pray for them. May I be praying your desires for people, not mine.
Look for the signs of God’s presence in your life today.
Grace and peace, friends.