Good morning. It is Saturday, February 28, 2015. The last day of this wretched month. Also, 37 more days until Opening Day.
Today’s word of the day is pantoglottism. This is a noun, simply meaning, “Knowledge of all languages.” That is a lot of knowledge.
Today is World Sword Swallower’s Day I bet you didn’t know that was a thing. FYI though, I don’t plan on trying that.
I’ll just come right out and say that the drive home from work yesterday was nothing short of terrifying. At around noon, they finally came around and said we could leave if we wanted to. They made us use PTO for the rest of the day, but that’s a different story for a different time. So I left work at around 12:30 or so. I got home at 2:15 (there was a brief stop at a Sonic drive-in along the way, but that was less than ten minutes). My GPS (I use the Waze app), took me to some very strange places. Of course, I had told it to avoid highways, because I had no idea what they were going to look like. For the most part, the drive was not dangerous, but there were a few places that scared the ever-loving daylights out of me. One of those was when the GPS took me across Fairway Blvd in Grapevine, which runs right alongside the lake. It was a completely straight stretch of road, about a mile or so long. There was a rut of slushy tracks down the middle of my lane, and about a thousand cars coming the other direction. The only other vehicle close to me was the one behind me, that obviously thought I was going too slow (I hit 40 at one point on this road!). The road is also elevated. So on my right side was a small railing and about a forty foot drop down to the lake. As cliche and cheesy as this may sound, at one point, I literally said, “Jesus, take the wheel.” (That is in no way, shape, or form, an endorsement of that song.) There was one other spot where I was crossing a major street that didn’t have stop signs, and I experienced difficulty getting traction about halfway across. There was another vehicle coming from the side, but about 100 yards away. It was quite tense. Both Christi and I were exhausted by the time we got home. It took her just as long to get home from Arlington as it did me from Carrollton.
We slept until 10:00 AM again this morning, so it will (and already is) be after noon before I get finished with this. At this point, we are still planning to have our prayer and worship gatherings, this evening, beginning at 4:45. The street outside our house is solid ice, but I hear the main roads are better and safely navigable.
It was on this date in 1993 that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Branch Davidian facility in Waco, Texas. They had a warrant to arrest the leader, David Koresh. In the initial raid, four ATF agents and five Davidians died, and a 51-day standoff began. The ordeal ended tragically as the facility burned, killing most of the people inside. The ATF claims that the fires were deliberately started by the Branch Davidians, and the few survivors claim that the fires were started by the bureau, either by accident, caused by the assault, or deliberately.
Today’s birthdays include Bugsy Siegel (gangster), Milton Caniff (cartoonist), Zero Mostel (actor), Charles Durning (actor), Hayden Fry (football coach), Gavin MacLeod (actor), Joe South (singer/songwriter), Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), Bubba Smith (football player/actor), Mercedes Ruehl (actress), Bernadette Peters (actress), Gilbert Gottfried (comedian), Cindy Wilson (B-52s), John Turturro (actor), Dorothy Stratten (actress), Rae Dawn Chong (actress), Patrick Monahan (lead singer/Train), Rory Cochrane (actor), and Ali Larter (actress).
Joe South was an American singer/songwriter, born on this date in 1940. He passed away in 2012, at the age of 72. One of his more famous songs, “Rose Garden,” was actually more popular by country artist, Lynn Anderson. She actually won a Grammy award for this song, and Joe had two Grammy nominations for the song. The most popular single that he recorded was probably “Games People Play.” He had many songs recorded by other people, including this song, recorded by Deep Purple.
Here is Joe South’s version.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
(From Solid Joys)
Today’s reading is “Finally and Totally Justified.”
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Paul could have answered his own question with, “No one! We are justified!” But instead, he says, “It is God who justifies.” The emphasis, here, is on the one who acts, rather than the act, itself.
In our world, the acquittal of one judge might be overturned by one who is higher. Let’s say a local judge acquits you. The governor is higher; he might overturn that decision. And if the governor acquits you, the emperor might overturn it.
When Paul says, “It is God who justifies,” he is pointing out that, above God, there is no higher court! So when God acquits me and calls me righteous, there is no appeal; no one can overturn it; no one can bring further charges against me. “God’s sentence is final and total.”
“So hear this, all who will believe on Jesus, and become united to Christ, and show yourself among the elect: God is the one who justifies you. Not a human judge. Not a great prophet. Not an archangel from heaven. But God, the Creator of the world and Owner of all things and Ruler of the universe and every molecule and person in it, God is the one who justifies you.
“The point: unshakable security in the face of tremendous suffering. If God is for us, no one can successfully be against us. If God gave his Son for us, he will give us everything that is good for us. If God is the one who justifies us, no charge against us can stand.”
Father, my praise for your justification is hardly enough. I can type words here all day long, and it’s not enough. The fact of of our justification in Christ Jesus is truly more than we can fully comprehend. Yet, I can comprehend it enough to be grateful and praise you for it. I thank you that there is no higher judge or court that can condemn what you have called righteous. How you are able to call me righteous, I still grapple with. Nevertheless, I believe and accept it. You have called me righteous in Christ Jesus. Now I pray that you help me to fully apprehend this truth. Help me to live in that righteousness, day by day, minute by minute. May that righteousness in the life of Christ govern how I react in every situation and circumstance, that I might be faithful to share the kingdom every day.
I pray for the rest of this day. As we attempt to get out to our worship gathering, I pray for safety for all who get out on the roads today. I pray that there will be a decent showing tonight, for this important event in the life of our band of believers. Regardless of how many show up, though, I pray that your name will be lifted high and glorified in all that happens.
This is great news for us, O believers! And a word that we would do well to remember. Justified!! We are fully justified by our Father, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There is no one higher; no one who can accuse; no one who can appeal; no one who can bring any charge against us! Justified!!
Grace and peace, friends.