Exceptional In the Ordinary

Good morning. It is Sunday, October 21. We are up early, getting ready to head to The Exchange, for two worship celebrations, as Christi is running the Mac today for both services. Apparently, we have simplified to the point where only one person is needed, besides the sound person, so I won’t be running podcasts any more.

Today is “Count Your Buttons Day.” Done. That didn’t take long, because I’m wearing a t-shirt. Unless it’s talking about all of my buttons. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

On this date in 1520, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Strait of Magellan.
On this date in 1854, Florence Nightingale and 38 other nurses were sent to the Crimean War.
On this date in 1879, Thomas Edison tested the first electric incandescent light bulb. It burned for 13.5 hours.
Women were allowed to vote in France for the first time, on this date in 1945.
On this date in 1975, THIS happened!

On this date in 1988, the movie Mystic Pizza opened. Somewhere close to this date in 2000, my wife and I had dinner at “Mystic Pizza II,” in Mystic, Connecticut.

Today’s birthdays include Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772, Sir Georg Solti, 1912, Dizzy Gillespie, 1917, Sir Malcolm Arnold, 1921, Whitey Ford, 1928, Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929, Manfred Mann, 1940, Elvin Bishop, 1942, Lee Loughnane, 1946, Benjamin Netanyahu, 1949, Keith Green, 1953, Rich Mullins, 1955, Carrie Fisher, 1956, Josh Ritter, 1976, Kim Kardashian, 1980.

I need to hurry along. Don’t have much time. Father, I pray for a revelation from you during this brief time this morning.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 122. Another of the “Songs of Ascents,” this one opens with some very famous words, words that are spoken at thousands of churches every single Sunday morning.

1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together,
4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!”
8 For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

For the most part, though, this psalm speaks only of Jerusalem. Many people take verse 6 quite literally, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem on a consistent basis. Especially in modern times, as the whole area has been battle-torn for centuries. I think verse 9 gives us some good advice, wherever we live. For the sake of God’s house, seek the good of your city.

Today’s reading in b>My Utmost For His Highest is called “Direction By Impulse.” The scripture reference is Jude 20, which says, But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,

Our Lord had no nature of impulse in him, “only a calm strength that never got into panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the line of our temperament, not along the line of God.” OUCH! I don’t know how Chambers always manages to do this! Impulse “hinders the development of the life of a disciple.” It must be trained into intuition by the discipline of the Holy Spirit.

Our discipleship is built only on the supernatural grace of God. Chambers compares walking on water by impulse to consistently following Christ on dry land. Peter impulsively jumped out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the waves, but “followed Him afar off on land.” We can manage to go through many crises in our lives with nothing more than human nature and pride. But following Jesus 24/7 requires that supernatural grace of God; “to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.” We don’t have to do exceptional things for God. We need, rather, to “be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people.” This is not learned by impulse.

Father, I pray for the grace to live consistently before your face. I pray for the grace to follow Jesus 24/7, through the drudgery, through the ordinary existence. I don’t have to do exceptional things for you. I think you have finally gotten that through to me. Make me, however, exceptional in the ordinary! Teach me to follow you, Lord Jesus!

I pray for our worship celebrations this morning. I pray that your Spirit will drive us to worship you with abandon and that you will inhabit the praises of your people this morning. Fill the hearts of the worship leaders with your Spirit, and inspire our pastor to speak your words to us.

May we all be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, today.

Grace and peace, friends.


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