The Truth Will Set You Free

Good morning. It is Sunday, November 2, 2014. Welcome to the “Weekend Edition.”

Today is Zero Tasking Day. It’s a perfect day for it, too. We have just come off of Daylight Saving Time (could we please just STOP IT??) Anyway, it just so happens that we have absolutely nothing planned for today!

We had a really great time at church last night, with a good prayer gathering beforehand. Jacob started his series on the book of Colossians. We got through verse 2. 😀 But he pulled quite a bit out of those two verses! This is going to be legen . . . wait for it . . . DARY! 😀

After church, we came home and had our “Mexican soup” that had been cooking in the crock pot all day long. It was scrumptious!! We watched a few TV shows and headed off to bed, somewhere around midnight. We didn’t change our clocks until this morning.

Today is going to be simply a day of rest. I will probably try to get in some practice on guitar and trombone today. Oh! I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here. There is an event brewing to gather a bunch of band members from when I was in college at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce) for a wind ensemble reunion concert, sometime next Spring. I’ve started trying to brush up/strengthen up my chops so I can play in it. If I can’t manage to get them strong enough, I will certainly try to be there for the concert! I am also trying to learn “fingerstyle” guitar, which is way more difficult than I thought it would be. I’m going to stick with it, though, and learn it!

(Source: This Day In History}

On this date in 1947, the Spruce Goose made its first and only flight. Designed by Howard Hughes, it was the largest aircraft ever built, also called the Hughes Flying Boat. It had a “wingspan longer than a football field and was designed to be able to carry more than 700 men to battle.” Unfortunately, the war had ended before the plane was ever finished. He flew it once to prove to Congress that it was airworthy. He kept it ready for flight until his death in 1976, but it never went into production. It is currently kept at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Spruce Goose

Today’s birthdays include David Schwimmer, Marie Antoinette, Daniel Boone, James Polk, Warren Harding, Stephanie Powers, Burt Lancaster, Ray Walston, k. d. lang, Carter Beauford, Jay Black, and Keith Emerson.

Jay Black turns 76 today. He was the lead singer for the pop group, Jay and the Americans, back in the sixties. Here is their song, “This Magic Moment,” one of my favorite songs from that era.

In addition, Keith Emerson is 70 today. He was the keyboardist/composer for the prog-rock group Emerson, Lake, & Palmer (ELP), who hit their strongest stride during the seventies. Here is a live performance of their adaptation of Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” from “Rodeo.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:3
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2
In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:10-11
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 103:20-22
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people
offer you true and laudable service: Grant that I may run without stumbling
to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today’s Gospel Reading

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Matthew 13:1-8

Here begins a lengthy section of the many parables of Jesus. Matthew begins with the Parable of the Sower. Jesus speaks of a sower who went out and cast seed in his field. The seed falls in various places, but only one type of soil produces fruit. It wasn’t until I was grown and beginning to have a better understanding of things that I realized that only the last type of soil, the “good soil,” represents one who has been “saved.” On the first soil, it is as if the person never even hears the Gospel. The seed is eaten before it can even gain access to the soil. On the second soil, there is an appearance of growth, but no depth, and external circumstances quickly destroy any signs of fruit. I have seen people who have appeared to receive the Gospel and believe, but in only a short time, have completely forgotten and gone back to their old way of life. It is my opinion that these were never saved. Likewise, the seed that fell among thorns and was choked out. One important thing to consider is that we have no control over what kind of “soil” we are. It is only by the grace of God that we are “good soil” and have received the Gospel and begun to bear fruit.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Journey to Transparency.”

“The journey to transparency begins with an honest confrontation with the truth, which is not something but Someone.” Do I need to confess that I am “inordinately preoccupied with security, sensation, and power?” Do I have compassion for others when they act out “their addictions and emotion-backed demands?” Do I realize that these people are mirrors of myself? Have I considered that “their little drama” is either where I am, or where I have been?

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Earlier, he had said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Jesus has declared that he is the truth. If we know him, we know the truth, and the truth will set us free. What are we set free from? We are set free from the inordinate preoccupation with “security, sensation, and power.” We are set free to have compassion toward others who display the same kinds of dysfunctions that we have. Understand that we are still human, and we are still messed up. We have simply embarked on this journey to transparency, which began with that “honest confrontation with” Jesus Christ, who is the truth.

Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Psalm 69:16

Father, I thank you that you began my journey to transparency many years ago. It seems, however, that I have not mad a lot of progress in those many years. Again, I find that I still struggle with preoccupations with security, sensations, and other things. Maybe power, but not so much, I don’t think. I’ve never really desired power. Any time I get any, I tend to mess things up. May my sole preoccupation be with Christ. I do know the Truth, and he is still setting me free. I pray that freedom would continue to come, and I impatiently desire it to come more quickly. But your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and that includes the speed of my sanctification. I pray that you would make me more of a “saint,” not so much in the sense of moral “holiness,” but in the sense of “set apart holiness.” Teach me to pray without ceasing. Teach me to notice when others need something from me, and then help me be willing to meet those needs in whatever way I can. Give me more compassion and understanding for others in the midst of their drama and addictions.

I pray for the remainder of this day, that it will be restful and easy for us, as we prepare for another week of work. I pray for my doctor’s visit tomorrow morning (general checkup), that all would be okay.

How’s your “journey to transparency” going? Mine keeps getting sidetracked by “rabbit trails.”

truth_set_you_free

Grace and peace, friends.

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