Always Someone Wiser

Good morning. Today is Friday, February 22, 2013.

Today is Walking the Dog Day. Let’s see…where did I put that yo-yo?


Oh!! They’re talking about real dogs! And real walking! Well, perhaps we will take advantage of this “holiday” this evening after work. I’m sure Tessie (our Corgi) would be thrilled. 292293_10151048718052975_1468086989_nAnd yes, she is named after THIS Tessie.

If you don’t have a dog to walk, I guess you could always participate in International World Thinking Day. I’m not even sure what that means.

Today is the day I will go and weigh in for our company’s Biggest Loser contest. It’s been a rough week (well, the week has been good, but last weekend was dreadful), so I’m hoping that I will at least be the same as last week’s weigh-in. It will be close. Might even gain a fraction. But that’s okay. I’m determined that this weekend will be different. And I’ve still lost over 17 pounds this year.

Steph had her training session last night, and I got in another good workout on the elliptical machine. She has now had 11 workout days this month, and has almost reached the challenge set for her by the club manager.

Did I mention that today is Friday?

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1358, Etienne Marcel and a group of his followers marched into the Dauphin Charles’s rooms in the royal palace of Paris and, “without discussion or trial…struck down two of Charles’s noble advisors, who fell at the prince’s feet, splattering him with blood.” The reason for this? In 1356, the English had destroyed France’s forces at the Battle of Poiters, capturing the French King, Jean II. This caused France to fall into a period of anarchy, described by Petrarch: “On every hand I witnessed a terrible solitude. Fields were abandoned and buildings in ruin. Even near to Paris there were the same signs of fire and desolation. The streets were deserted and grass grew in the high roads. It was as though France had died.” Etienne Marcel, the provost of the merchants in Paris, took control of the city and forced Charles “to grant reforms, summarised in the Great Ordinance of 1357.” But Charles broke his promise and devalued the coinage. This resulted in the actions described above on this date. After killing the two advisors, Marcel “placed his own cap upon the Dauphin’s head, assuring him of protection if he carried out his pledged reforms.” Marcel was murdered five months later.

Today’s birthday is Dwight Frye, born on this date in 1899. Once again, you’re probably wondering who this is. Frye was an actor who appeared in Tod Browning’s 1931 adaptation of Dracula. He played Renfield. Alice Cooper has a song called “The Ballad of Dwight Fry” on his album Love It To Death

This song (along with Cooper) was featured in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Dark Shadows. Frye died of a heart attack in 1943, just days before he was slated to take part in a biopic about Woodrow Wilson.
I can’t not mention Sparky Anderson, born on this date in 1934. Anderson was a beloved baseball manager, who happened to be managing the Cincinnati Reds in 1975, taking them to what has been thought by many to be the best World Series ever played, Game Six being one of the most famous. Anderson passed away in 2010.

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. Psalm 66:8-9

Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. Psalm 86:2

Father, I pray for a glimpse of you this morning as I read and meditate on your words.

Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “The People of the Book.” The scripture reading is Nehemiah 8:5, 7b-10.
5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood.
7b …the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places.
8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.
10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

From this point on, the Israelite “community would revolve around the study of Torah and the interpretation and application of its laws.” “The understanding of God’s Word demands our whole attention, and even then there is ongoing need for the traditions of the Church, and the Holy Spirit.” I agree with this statement. There is value to the traditions of the Church, as long as they are not seen as more important then scripture itself. Sometimes the hearing of the word brings joy, but sometimes, it brings despair, and can be quite disturbing to us. But “the ultimate result for obedient and careful listeners is joy.” This kind of joy is a “deep sense of peace that all is well with one’s soul.” The Psalmist knew this when he wrote these words in Psalm 126:5: Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! I am challenged to consider who in my life helps me understand as those Levites helped the Israelites understand God’s words. I am also challenged to consult whoever comes to mind in the reading of the passage I chose earlier in the week. These are good suggestions. There should always be someone in our lives that helps us to understand what we read in the scriptures. We should never attempt to go solo when reading the Bible, no matter how many times we have read it, no matter how mature we think we might be. There is always someone wiser than me.

Father, I pray that, as I read and study your words, that you would bring someone to mind who has helped me understand your words in the past. As I look into 1 John over the next few days, may your Spirit help me to understand things that I have not gleaned from this passage before. Yes, I have read it numerous times in the past. But there is always something new and fresh in your words, when I allow myself to be open to what is there. Let me not just read this casually, but read it with my “whole attention.” Too often I am guilty of skimming over passages of scripture with a very casual attitude. Deliver me from this mindset, Father, and enable me to pay closer attention to what I read. Deliver me from all distractions when I read your words, that I might soak in them and take away treasures of infinite value!

Lord, bless this day for me and my family. I pray that Christi and I will have a good work day, and that you would draw Stephanie close to your heart today. I pray for a good, restful weekend, especially as I get ready to start a slightly altered schedule next week, along with added responsibilities at work.

Your grace is sufficient.

No matter what we study in life…there is always someone who knows more about it, always someone wiser.

Grace and peace, friends.