One Primary Purpose

Good morning. It is Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Hump Day. Only two more days in July (after today).

There are some really good words of the day, today, but I’m choosing the one from the Oxford English Dictionary, which is refulgent. Refulgent is an adjective, meaning, ” Shining with, or reflecting, a brilliant light; radiant, resplendent; gleaming, lustrous.” And, I’m not mistaken, it was one of Rachel’s spelling words in the Spelling Bee she participated in, back in Middle School. I remember how we all got a big kick out of her getting that word, because it sounds similar to “effulgent,” which was a word found in a poem, written by William the Bloody (later known as Spike), in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He had written the poem to try to win the love of Cecily. Sadly, it did not work, as she said, “You’re beneath me.” Anyway, here is the first line of the poem:

My heart,
Tis grown a bulge in it
Inspired by your beauty
Effulgent

They called him William the Bloody because of his “bloody awful poetry.”

Today is Lasagna Day! Huzzah for Garfield’s favorite food!!

I had a good time last night, hanging out with my Huddle group. Instead of our normal gathering, at the request of the leader, we all went to Houlihan’s for drinks and/or whatever. Rob, the leader, paid for the drinks, and we just hung out for about an hour and a half. Good times.

Christi finished out her bowling league at work. Her team wound up in second place, she thinks. We’re still looking at bowling in a fall league, but aren’t 100% sure, because they are talking about having a winter league at her work. In case anyone doesn’t know, she works for the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).

Today being Wednesday, we will have the evening to relax together. Tomorrow is Christi’s Huddle night.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Today’s Bible reading is Genesis 25, Matthew 6, and Psalm 127.

In Genesis 25, Abraham dies and is buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. Jacob and Esau are born to Isaac and Rebekah, and Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.

Matthew 6 continues the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus teaches his disciples to be secretive about their generosity to the needy. Then he teaches them to pray, giving them a “model prayer.” He gives instructions on fasting, laying up treasures in heaven, and finally, concerning anxiety. This passage finishes up with two well-known verses. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Psalm 127
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Today’s Psalm in Heart Aflame is Psalm 89:9-29. That’s a lot of verses, so I will share excerpts.

11 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.
13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
20 I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him,
21 so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.
26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
27 And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens.

(From Daily Guideposts 2015)

When I see the same verse in more than one source, I tend to believe that there’s something for me to pay attention to. This morning, that verse is Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In today’s Daily Guideposts reading, Scott Walker writes of a time when he had been to the dermatologist, who removed a skin lesion from his arm. The doctor was concerned about it, and had it sent to the lab. Since the doctor was worried, Scott was also worried.

On the morning that he wrote this reading, the phone woke him up. Seeing that it was the doctor calling, he said his heart lurched, and his blood pressure soared. The doctor, however, had good news. There was nothing to worry about.

As he takes this all in, several hours later, he finds himself grateful for life. But he’s sixty-two, and realizes that none of us lives forever. There will be a day when the news is not good. In the final paragraph, he says this:

Above all, I affirm that each day I live will be acknowledged as a pure gift, a moment of time that is unique, unrepeatable, and must be savored. Second, I resolve to live each day with one primary purpose: to show love to at least one other child of God, animals included! And, finally, the greatest gift I can offer to God is my heartfelt thanksgiving. For it is simple gratitude that is the most healing medicine known to humankind, and it is thanksgiving that transcends all time and death.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Father, you are certainly good at arranging these readings. How I needed to read this today. For some reason, I have been experiencing anxiety, recently. Sometimes, there is a reason (whether it be good or bad), and other times, I can find no reason for it. But today, I read these words, and I see your purpose for me does not in any way include anxiety. So help me to let it go. I pray for the ability to live this day in gratitude and thanksgiving for the great and wonderful blessings you have put in my life. May I simply be grateful for life, itself, and that I live to carry on another day. May I be sure to show your love to all people today, not just one other, but all of them, no matter what the circumstances. All people need your love, Lord.

I pray for this day, that we would have safe passage to and from work. May you continue to protect Christi from stress and anxiety at work. May you show your great love to Stephanie today. Rachel is close to defending her thesis. Give her confidence in what she has written. She is so good at this, but lack confidence in herself. I pray that you lift her up, Father. Give grace to Mama as she does whatever she needs to do today.

We love you, Lord.

Grace and peace, friends.

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