Pharisee vs. Child

“If we continue to focus solely on the sinner/saint duality in our person and conduct, while ignoring the raging opposition between the Pharisee and the child, spiritual growth will come to an abrupt standstill.”~~Brennan Manning

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Good afternoon. It is Sunday, November 9, 2014. Welcome to the weekend edition.

Today is World Freedom Day. It was designated in 2001 by George W. Bush to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunion of loved ones who had been separated for decades the Iron Curtain.

As I mentioned Friday, I had to work yesterday, as it was my “scheduled” Saturday. These days, we can’t through a Saturday without five for six people there, so it’s kind of pointless to have one person “scheduled” to work it. All of us have complained that it’s not fair for one person to be forced to take a day off during the week to avoid overtime on the Saturday, when five other people come in for support and all get overtime pay. At any rate, it was my last scheduled Saturday for the year, because I had switched my December 20 date with another guy so I could go to the doctor last Monday without having to use a PTO day. So, in this case, the policy worked out in my favor. I got my new medication yesterday, by the way. He has prescribed “atorvastatin” for me, which is generic for Lipitor. Interesting thing, though. I got a message from my father, who was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis a number of years ago, and he advised me to let my doctor know about his condition, as there are theories out there that statin drugs might trigger Myositis, and it may or may not be hereditary. I’m not worried yet, but there is reported evidence that statins do cause muscle damage. After doing a little research on my own, I believe that what my dad has is sporadic IBM, which is not hereditary. Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathy usually presents earlier, in the young adult years. Nevertheless, there may be increased susceptibility to IBM, based on genetic composition. So I will go ahead and let my doctor know about this.

Enough about that stuff. I got sidetracked. I was talking writing about work, wasn’t I? Well, it was a pretty tough day, yesterday. There was a decent amount of receiving to do, left from Friday, but there was a huge amount of “make ready” that needed to be done, and every time I went over to get some, by the time I got the cart finished, the QC people had already filled up what I emptied, and then some. There were four others there, besides me, and, at the end of the day, there were still three of us there. We didn’t get finished until about 4:45, which was ten hours from the time I got to work. I didn’t get home until after 6:00, so I missed church and the Pastoral Assist Team meeting last night. And I was exhausted, as well.

Today, we are going over to some old friends’ for lunch. A few people we used to go to church with back in the South Haltom/Wings of Freedom days are getting together. Hopefully, we will share some good memories and get caught up with people. Unfortunately, we are already having drama about whether Stephanie goes with us. Always somethin’.

(Source: Christian History Institute)

On this date in 1793, William Carey landed “in Calcutta, India, to begin his missionary career.”

Today’s birthdays include Nikki Blonsky, Lou Ferrigno, Carl Sagan, Hedy Lamar, Mary Travers, Tom Fogerty, Adam Dunn, Bob Gibson, Spiro Agnew, Susan Tedeschi, Gail Borden, Dmitry Ivanovsky, Sargent Shriver, Thomas Ferebee, Dorothy Dandridge, and Whitey Herzog.

Several good ones, today. Mary Travers, of course, was the “Mary” in the trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary. (Interesting note: I looked to see if there should be commas in their name. Two albums had one comma, “Peter, Paul and Mary,” and two had no commas, “Peter Paul and Mary.” I decided to use the Oxford comma in mine. 🙂 ) Here is their song, “Stewball.” Mary passed in 2009.

Tom Fogerty was a guitarist in Credence Clearwater Revival. He passed in 1990. Here is their song “Bad Moon Rising.”

Finally, Susan Tedeschi is a blues guitar player/singer and is married to Derek Trucks, nephew of Butch Trucks, who is a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. Susan and Derek formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and here is a live recording of their song, “Bound for Glory.” Derek is the lead guitar player. Susan sings.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 95:1-5
God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Psalm 67:7
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah.
I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.

Psalm 3:3-5
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works,
Psalm 104:31
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!
Job 19:25-27
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

Psalm 73:25-28
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy
the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life:
Grant that, having this hope, I may purify myself as he is pure;
that, when he comes again with power and great glory,
I may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Pharisee Within.”

“The Pharisee who pardons himself is condemned. The tax collector who condemns himself is acquitted. To deny the Pharisee within is lethal.” Why does this one insist on looking to outside sources for peace and happiness?

Brennan writes of a man who stood at a prayer meeting he was attending, and said, “I just want to thank God that I have nothing to repent of today.” Brennan says, “His wife groaned. What he meant was that he had not embezzled, blasphemed, fornicated, or fractured any of the Ten Commandments.” While it might be true that he had “distanced himself from idolatry, drunkenness, sexual irresponsibility, and similar things,” he had yet to break through to inner freedom.

“If we continue to focus solely on the sinner/saint duality in our person and conduct, while ignoring the raging opposition between the Pharisee and the child, spiritual growth will come to an abrupt standstill.”

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared;
but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
because we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

1 John 3:2-3

Father, I pray, first of all, that I might be able to truly pray the words of Psalm 73:25-28. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” Sadly, I am still falling short of that ideal. There are too many things on this earth that I still desire, and I am constantly frustrated that I don’t have enough time for all of them. I thank you that I still manage to find time for you every day. But I pray that these times will become more meaningful and less hurried, as I find myself having to do some days. May my focus during these times be sharp, and may the things that I see you telling me each day stay with me throughout the days and beyond, affecting changes in my life that only you can do. I pray, secondly, that you would make me so very aware of the Pharisee within me, and deal with that way of thinking with your Spirit. I believe that you have accomplished a measure of inner freedom within me, as I become more like “the child” and less like “the Pharisee.” Yet, there is still much room for improvement, as I constantly find myself judging people unfairly, which shows that I, for some insane reason, think I am better than them. I am NOT better than ANYONE!! I pray that you help me realize that 24/7, so that I will stop this insane judging of others, especially those who are my brothers and sisters in Christ! You are my freedom, you give me my strength. May I depend on this each day.

I pray for the rest of this day. I pray that Stephanie will feel better, as she is experiencing her monthly cramps. I pray for relief for her. I pray that Christi and I will have a good time in fellowship with old friends. May our time together be peaceful, fruitful, and loving. May your grace fill our afternoon. Then may our evening be filled with good rest as we prepare for the week of work that is ahead.

I pray a special prayer for Alicia, today, who is remember her mother’s birthday. She misses her mother dearly, Lord, and I pray that you would fill her life with your peace and comfort and that someone would be alongside her today, to help her bear the terrible sadness. She needs some positive things in her life, Lord, and I pray that you would fill her with your blessing!

Your grace is sufficient.

May we all do battle with that Pharisee within us and allow the “child” to prevail, that we might experience true inner freedom in Christ.

Grace and peace, friends.

3 thoughts on “Pharisee vs. Child

    1. The lyric is actually, “I see trouble on the way.” Then at the end of the chorus, it says, “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” It’s never “on the right.” Of course, some people hear, “There’s a bathroom on the right.” 😀

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