Good morning. It is Monday, December 16, 2013.
Today is (I swear I’m not making this up) “Chocolate Covered Anything Day.” There are a lot of things that are made much better by covering them with chocolate, right? Ice cream, cherries, nuts, peanut butter, popcorn, chocolate, Oreos, graham crackers, the list goes on and on.
Yesterday we went out and picked a chair for Christmas for Christi. The wing-back recliner that we’ve had in the front room for years has seen better days. Between various pets and a daughter who shall not be named, it’s been chew on, shredded, and, well, broken. So we found a new one at Ashley Furniture. You know how hard it is to find a recliner that doesn’t look like a La-Z Boy chair? As well as one that has some kind of print fabric on it, instead of leather or suede? It was a difficult task, but we succeeded. Of course, we won’t see it until next year, but it’s ordered. What’s really cool about this is that we had purchased protection plans on three sets of furniture back in 2007. Ashley has this deal where, if you don’t make claims on the protection for five years, they will reimburse the cost of the plan. I don’t remember ever knowing that, but Christi did. We just forgot (which I figure most people do). But the salesperson reminded us yesterday as she was selling us the chair. So we inquired at the customer service counter and discovered that we had almost $400 worth of protection plan reimbursement coming to us! This almost pays for the chair! Of course, we went ahead and got a small side table to go next to it, but when we finally get the chair, we will only owe about $200 on it. We wound up being in the store for several hours, but it was pretty much worth it.
From there, it was grocery shopping, where we spent way too much, but most was in preparation for Christmas. It’s probably better that we stocked up this last weekend, rather than waiting until next weekend. The cool thing is that both of us will only be working Monday of Christmas week. We both have off between Christmas and New Year’s Day! That will be fun.
I rarely talk about football here, but anyone who knows me very well knows that I am vigorously NOT a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, I live in DFW. And even though I’m a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, that doesn’t mean I’m a Patriots fan, like most people assume. In truth, I care little for football (not as little as I care for basketball. . . don’t like basketball at all). But I relished the end of yesterday’s Dallas/Green Bay contest, as good ol’ Tony Romo threw, not one, but TWO interceptions in the closing moments of the game, to blow the 36-31 lead that they had with just over two minutes left. Packers win, 37-36! 😀 I didn’t watch the game, I was looking at the score on the Interwebs.
(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
Today is the 240th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. On this date in 1773, led by Samuel Adams (was this before he had a beer named after him?), about 2000 American colonists gathered at the wharf at Boston Harbor, as three British ships sat in the harbor, waiting for their tea supplies to be unloaded. About 60 protesters, “some disguised as Mohawk Indians,” went on board the ships and began throwing “the cargo of 342 cases of tea into Boston Harbor.”
Today’s birthdays: Catherine of Aragon, 1485, George Whitefield, 1714, Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770, Jane Austen, 1775, Amy Carmichael, 1867, Noel Coward, 1899, Margaret Mead, 1901, Arthur C. Clarke, 1917, Philip K. Dick, 1928, Liv Ullmann, 1938, Steven Bochco, 1943, Ben Cross, 1947, Billy Gibbons, 1949, Jon Tenney, 1962, and Anna Popplewell, 1988.
Billy Gibbons (in case anyone doesn’t know) is the guitar player and one of the singers for ZZ Top.
Third Week of Advent
Psalm 103:20-22 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Luke 1:39-45 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,
and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Today’s reading in A Year With God is “Do Not Set Your Heart on Riches.” The scripture reading is Psalm 62:9-10.
Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
We see in this passage that no humans are truly trustworthy, whether they be rich or poor. All of them are “lighter than a breath.” We should not put our trust in people, but in God alone. We should not even put our trust in ourselves, to be self-reliant. After all, we do fall in that category of “people,” who are, in general, not trustworthy. This discipline of simplicity serves to focus our trust and reliance on God.
The book offers this prayer from Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing, by Soren Kierkegaard:
Father in Heaven! What are we without You? . . . what is all our striv-
ing, could it ever encompass a world, but a half-finished work if we do not
know You: You the One, who is one thing and who is all!
So may you give to the intellect
wisdom to comprehend that one thing;
to the heart,
sincerity to receive this understanding;
to the will,
purity that wills only one thing.
In prosperity, may you grant
perseverance to will on thing;
collectedness to will one thing;
patience to will one thing.
Father, teach me to will one thing, and that thing be to love and serve you only. May my devotion to Christ grow deeper and deeper as I grow older. May the desires of my heart be in sync with the desires of your heart. Teach me that I cannot rely, even upon myself, much less any other, besides you. You only can I rely upon. Draw my heart, my mind, and my will to the place where I rely upon and trust only you for my security, both present and future.
I pray for this day, as we begin a new week. Keep us close to you in devotion and prayer as this week goes by, no matter what kind of distraction comes our way. May our work go smoothly, but may we face challenges with your grace and with patience. Give us wisdom to know how to respond to anything this week. I pray that Christi’s feet will continue to feel better during this week. Draw Stephanie’s heart ever closer to yours, and show her the path you have for her life.
May we think today, as in Kierkegaard’s prayer, on that one thing.
Grace and peace, friends.