Good morning. It is Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nine more days until Opening Day!!!
Today’s word of the day is trope. I’m familiar with this word, and have seen it used, before, but was never quite sure of its meaning. Turns out it has a LOT of meanings. (Please note the correct usage of “a lot.”) I won’t be quoting all of them. It begins with I. “A particular manner or mode.” Under that heading is 1.a. “Rhetoric. A figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it. Hence (more generally): a figure of speech; (an instance of) figurative or metaphorical language.” b. “Music. A manner of playing; a mode; a harmonization. Obs.” 2. “Christian Church. A phrase, sentence, or verse, usually sung, introduced in the medieval Western Church as an embellishment into some part of the text of the Mass or of the breviary office, esp. at the close of a psalm or response.” Skipping to 7. “A significant or recurrent theme, esp. in a literary or cultural context; a motif.” Then there are other uses in relationship to astronomy and mathematics.
Today is Weed Appreciation Day. Before you get all bent out of shape, I’m not talking about that kind of weed! I’m talking about what my back yard mostly consists of. Hey, some of those weeds produce some pretty flowers. Dandelions, for example, are weeds. And I’ve always been quite fond of thistles. So throw some love at some weeds today!
I probably shouldn’t write much about yesterday. Twelve hours. I was not a “happy camper,” so to speak. I will say this . . . as I was driving home, just the sound of my sweet wife’s voice worked wonders in alleviating my stress and anger. I could feel it coming off of me in waves as we talked. I love you, Christi, and am so very grateful that God put you in my life thirty years ago.
I’m not sure what is in store for today. We have our usual prayer and worship gatherings, this evening, beginning at 4:45. If you are in the area, come check us out. We are The Exchange.
Tomorrow, we are planning a trip back to Mineral Wells to visit with my parents, along with Rachel and Justin, hopefully. Tomorrow is Rachel’s birthday, and my mother’s is a week from Wednesday, so we decided to celebrate them both tomorrow.
It was on this date in 1979 that the Three Mile Island incident occurred. Operators failed to notice that a relief valve in the primary coolant system had stuck open, allowing sufficient coolant to drain to cause a partial meltdown.
Today’s birthdays include Teresa of Avila (Carmelite nun and saint), August Anheuser Busch, Jr. (brewer and baseball executive), Marlin Perkins (zoologist), Jay Livingston (composer and songwriter), Conchata Ferrell (actress), John Evan (keyboard player for Jethro Tull), Dianne Wiest (actress), Reba McEntire (singer), Vince Vaughn (actor), Julia Stiles (actress), and Lady Gaga (singer).
John Evan is a keyboard player, born on this date in 1948. He played keyboards for Jethro Tull from 1970 to 1980. He is featured in this performance of “Locomotive Breath,” from their Aqualung album. He plays piano on this song, and I have read that he composed the introduction to the song.
Just for kicks, I want to share this video of Ann and Nancy Wilson performing “Stairway To Heaven” in a tribute show for Led Zeppelin. In my opinion, it’s one of, if not the, most beautiful version of this song, made so by the addition of an orchestra and choir. Plus Nancy does a fantastic job of playing the intro. She is an amazing (and totally underrated) guitar player. It is also fun to watch the members of Led Zeppelin as they react to the performance.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
(From Heart Aflame)
David begins this psalm with words that indicate that he is “not driven here and there, after the manner of the ungodly,” but that all of his desires are directed to God and God alone. “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.” We must be consistent in our prayers, that we do not allow our gaze to waver about. I confess that I struggle with this, especially when I’m praying on my morning drive to work. And it is not just the traffic that distracts me (that is a necessary distraction), but, in the midst of my prayer, of my lifting up of the soul to the Lord, I find my mind wandering off to unrelated topics. We must have our hope fixed on the Lord. “In order, therefore, that we may pray aright to God, let us be directed by this rule: not to distract our minds by various and uncertain hopes, not to depend on worldly aid, but to yield to God the honour of lifting up our hearts to him in sincere and earnest prayer.”
In verse 4, David prays, “Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.” This is a prayer that we find many times in various psalms. It is very similar to Psalm 86:11, which I have made my “life verse.” “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” When we pray, thus, we ask God to keep our path straight, not allowing us to turn to the right or to the left. “When our minds are thus composed to patience, we undertake nothing rashly or by improper means, but depend wholly upon the providence of God.” There is great wisdom in that sentence. How often do we run ahead of the Lord, because we think he is not answering quickly enough? In this psalm, “David desires not merely to be directed by the Spirit of God, lest he should err from the right way, but also that God would clearly manifest to him his truth and faithfulness in the promises of his word, that he might live in peace before him, and be free from all impatience.”
Father, make me to know your ways! Lead me in your truth and teach me! Help me to wait on you, and to not act rashly in any circumstance. I acknowledge that yesterday was a glaring example of my failure, yet again, to allow your Spirit to rule in my life. I went into the day frustrated with the circumstances, and that frustration grew and grew until the end of the day, twelve hours later. Yes, it was a long day. Yes, the circumstances were probably unfair, due to management ignorance, but there were people on our team that were there longer than I was, some as much as fourteen hours! Regardless of the circumstances, Father, it is my duty to seek your face, and to allow your Spirit to reign in me. I confess I was not a good emissary of your Kingdom yesterday. So I find myself still praying the same prayers from David. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Take my eyes off of me and keep them on you. You are the God of my salvation. May I truly wait on you.
I pray for this day. As we go out and about to do what needs to be done, may your grace shine on us. I pray for the activities of the day. May our prayer and worship time, this evening, be glorifying and honoring to your name. Speak to us through your servant Jacob, that our lives might be enriched by your Word. I pray for our PAT meeting after the gatherings, that it would be productive, but that we would have good fellowship, as well.
Make me an instrument of your peace.
May we know the God of our salvation, and may he direct our paths, that we might not turn to the right or to the left. May he make us to know his ways faithfully.
Grace and peace, friends.