Good morning. I is pre-Friday, September 26, 2013.
Today is “Johnny Appleseed Day,” in honor of that strange guy who walked around mid-America planting apple trees.
Last night we watched the pilot for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a new series directed by none other than Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, and more recently, director of the hit movie, The Avengers. S.H.I.E.L.D. was pretty good, but a little slow starting. I’m sure it will pick up though, as it gets going. We followed that with the season premier of How I Met Your Mother, which is now in its final season. We will miss that show, and will likely find reason to be sad in every episode of the season. They have already revealed “mother,” in fact, they revealed her at the end of last season. She and Ted are very close to meeting, already. Then we finished up with this week’s episode of New Girl, in which Schmidt buries himself deeper and deeper in his deceptive, ongoing relationship with two women at the same time.
While all this was going on, I was keeping up with two different baseball games. The Red Sox whipped the Rockies, 15-5, but it was very tense for a few innings, there. They are closer to obtaining home field advantage for the playoffs, as Oakland lost yesterday. The Rangers beat the Astros again, finishing a sweep, but to no avail, as the Indians and Rays won again! The Indians finish the season against the Twins, the third worst team in the AL, while the Rays play the Evil Empire for one more game, and then finish against the Blue Jays, the last place team in the AL East. Things are not looking good for the Rangers’ playoff hopes. That seven game losing streak earlier in September has really hurt them.
(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1513, a “Spanish conquistador discovered a gigantic new ocean, the Pacific.” It was not, however, as John Keats wrote in a poem, Cortez. It was, rather, Vasco Nunez de Balboa.” Balboa came to the new world at the age of 25, on an exploration voyage to Columbia. He attempted to settle in Hispaniola (currently Haiti), “but by the time he was 35 he was mired in debt and fled the island as a stowaway.” He landed at Darien, “on the north coast of the Isthmus of Panama where it joins South America.” He finally was able to prosper there, and took control of the Spanish settlement. As he led expeditions into the interior in search of gold and slaves, he heard rumors of “vast hoards of gold somewhere” and set out to find it. He began and expedition on September 1 of 1513, crossing “the stifling rain forests of the Isthmus of Panama, jungle so thick that for days he and his men could never see the sky.” He finally emerged on the southern coast to see a mountain “looming before them.” He climbed to the top, and it was there that he saw the ocean. Four days later, they reached the ocean, where he plunged “into the water in full armor,” and “brandished his sword and claimed it for Spain.”
Today’s birthday is Marty Robbins, born on this date in 1925. Robbins was a singer/songwriter from the mid 1900s, famous for songs such as “The Streets of Laredo,” and this one, “El Paso.” He died in 1982.
Honorable mentions go to Olivia Newton John, 65, James Caviezel, 45, John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed), 1774-1845, T.S. Eliot, 1888-1965, Linda Hamilton, 57, George Gershwin, 1898-1937, Kent McCord, 71, Donna Douglas, 80, Jack LaLanne, 1914-2011, Bryan Ferry, 68, and Lynn Anderson, 66.
Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. Psalm 93:5
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD. Psalm 118:26
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:3-9
Father, my soul waits for you, O God, as I prepare myself for this day. I pray that you teach me your ways this morning as I look into your word.
Today, in A Year With God, I’m beginning a segment on the discipline of Submission. Submission is defined as, “Subordination to the guidance of God; within the Christian fellowship, a constant mutual subordination out of reverence for Christ, which opens the way for particular subordination to those who are qualified to direct our efforts toward Christlikeness and who then add the weight of their wise authority on the side of our willing spirit to help us do the things we would like to do and refrain from doing the things we don’t want to do.”
“Submission does not mean blindly following anyone who tells us to do something.” When Jesus speaks of submission (although he does not use the word), he says, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. But this whole concept of self-denial is very foreign to us, especially in Western culture. We “worry that it requires losing our individuality.” In truth, self-denial simply means recognizing that we don’t always have to get our own way, and “that our happiness does not depend on getting what we want.” In fact, the act of subordinating the will to another can be “gloriously freeing.” If we don’t always have to have our own way, “we can hold the things of this world lightly.” Submission should always be to God first, but we can also submit to each other as brothers and sisters. This requires us to do as Paul admonishes in Romans and consider others to be more important than ourselves. Our best example is, of course, Jesus.
We must be aware, however, an on the alert, as submission can become destructive. This is when we need discernment and to trust the Holy Spirit for guidance to know when to refuse to submit to humans or human authority.
Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. Luke 1:38
Pray Without Ceasing: A Thirty-One-Day Course, by Andrew Murray
What to Pray: That God’s People May Realize Their Calling
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2
“Abraham was only blessed that he might be a blessing to all
the earth. Israel prays for blessing that God may be known
among all nations. Every believer, just as Abraham was, is only
blessed that he may carry God’s blessing to the world.
“Plead with God that His people may know this: that every
believer is to live for the interests of God and His kingdom. If
this truth were preached and believed and practiced, what a
revolution it would bring to our churches and our missions fields.
What a host of willing intercessors we would have. Ask God to
reveal this by the Holy Spirit.”
How to Pray: As One Who Has Accepted for Himself What He Asks for Others
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” Acts 11:15, 17
“When God has blessed us and met our needs, we are encouraged
and emboldened to ask the same for others. Let any thought
of your own weakness or shortcomings only make you more
urgent in prayer. As His child, you will be heard, many will be
helped, and your own faith will be strengthened.”
Father, I pray that your people will know and understand their calling in this world. I pray that we may all understand that our purpose in this world is tied to you; that the reason for us being blessed is so that we may carry that blessing into the world to others. I pray for submission within your Church, Father. There is not nearly enough of an attitude of dying to self, of self-denial, so that your purpose in this world can flourish. We all need to stop looking out for ourselves so much and start looking out for whatever it is that you have for us to do. Help me to deny myself daily, Father, that I might carry your blessing to those with whom I come in contact every day. May I rely solely on your power and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
I pray for this day today. May Christi and I have a good work day, giving our employers what they are due, that we might find favor with them. May we work as though we are working for you rather than men. May we have opportunities to help others find your peace. I also pray that Stephanie find your peace, and that she be surrounded by your steadfast love and protection.
Your grace is sufficient.
Submission is a scary word to us, today. But it is a necessary word, as we must submit to God in order to have a successful Christian life. May the Spirit guide us in this, and give us discernment, as well, as we consider mutual submission within the body of Christ. May we know our calling in God’s plan for our lives.
Grace and peace, friends.