Good morning. It is Friday, June 5, 2015. The ETSU Band Reunion: The Keene Years begins today!
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is holophrase. I was a bit disappointed, as I was expecting something futuristic, you know, like, having to do with a hologram, or something. But, now, the word is a noun, meaning, “a word functioning as a phrase or sentence, as the imperative Go!”
Yes, today is the big day! I’m all packed up, except for a few last minute things, and will be leaving for the bustling metropolis of Commerce, TX, right after work, this evening. I might make it to Commerce in time to check in for the reunion tonight, but if I don’t, I’ll do it in the morning. I’m really excited about this, even though I know my playing will . . . let’s just say it will resemble a vacuum cleaner. But there are going to be many people there, most of whom I have not seen in more than thirty years. And the likelihood of seeing them again, ever, is, in reality, pretty slim. Life is strange. And wonderful.
What I will miss while I am gone is a baptism service at our church on Saturday night. I’m sad that I will miss that, but they can certainly get baptized without me! I’m only a bit less sad that I will be missing out on Terry Guilliams’s brisket!! Yum!! What I will miss the most, of course, is my wonderful wife. I don’t like being away from her for any length of time. And to make this worse, she is leaving for El Paso, for a “business” trip. If you can call bowling in a tournament “business!” 😀 She will be back Tuesday night, though. It’s a short one.
I don’t know if there will be blog entries tomorrow and Sunday. It depends on if the hotel has wi-fi. I am taking my laptop, in case they do. If not, I will see you all back on Monday morning.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you,
that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah.
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!
How often do we make those promises (as in verse 14) when we are in trouble? I’m always reminded of a scene from a movie, in which a man is trying to swim back to shore from the ocean. He begins by promising everything he owns to God, if he can just get back to the shore alive. The closer he gets, the less he is giving to God. But here, the Psalmist states that he will keep those promises he made, while in trouble. We should not be quick to make promises to God, unless we intend to keep them.
But then, in verse 16, the Psalmist makes a wonderful declaration: Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. Therein lies the means of spreading the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. There doesn’t need to be some grand theological treatise; we don’t have to have mounds and mounds of Scripture memorized. All we need to be able to do is tell people what God has done for our souls.
Father, may we be slow to promise, and quick to be ready to let people know what you have done for us. Let my tongue not utter meaningless promises when I am “in trouble,” or, at least, perceive myself to be. I have been guilty of this, in the past, and know full well that I did not keep said promises. Yet you have not stricken me dead. That, I believe full well, is grace. And grace is what I have to share with other people, as I call out to them to come and hear what you have done for my soul. I pray that you make me a faithful clarion of your Good News, Lord.
I pray for this day, that our travel will be safe and smooth. May Christi and I have a good day at work, free from drama and anxiety. I also pray for safe travel to Commerce and back, later. I pray that this reunion will be a good time of reuniting with old friends, and that I will be a faithful servant during the time we are there. I pray for Christi and Stephanie while I am gone, that you will hold them in your care, keeping them safe. I celebrate, along with others, the baptisms that will occur on Saturday. May your glory shine through this event! I pray for Rachel and Justin, that you will provide for them what they most desperately need on this day, and that you will hold my mother up as she goes about her life. Thank you for the group of friends that she has developed!
Your grace is sufficient.
For us, spreading the Gospel is nothing more than the call of Psalm 66:16. Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
Grace and peace, friends.