Good morning. It is Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Hump Day. Stephanie’s birthday!! Justin’s birthday!!
Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is exculpatory. This adjective means, “tending or serving to clear from alleged fault or guilt.” For example, there might be exculpatory evidence that clears someone as a suspect in a crime.
Today, besides being Stephanie’s birthday, is World Humanitarian Day. I would encourage folks to stop and give thanks today for all those who have sacrificed much to try to help people of the world who are in need.
Yesterday morning was pretty stressful. It got better by the afternoon, though, and then, come 4:30, the day got much better! Today promises to be a wonderful day, as we spend it with Stephanie, doing pretty much whatever she wants to do. I believe it will begin at IHOP, for breakfast, and then off to Grapevine, for mani/pedis. I probably won’t get a manicure, but I will definitely get a pedicure. Take my man-card if you want, but don’t scoff until you’ve had one. At some point, we will stop at Krispy-Kreme for some doughnuts (they still spell them the old-fashioned way), and then at 7:00 tonight, we will go to Fogata’s for dinner. We have sent out a blanket invitation to friends to join us, if they want. There might be bowling, and there will definitely be Sonic drinks somewhere in there. Who knows . . . maybe more than once!
On this date in 43 BC, Octavius compelled the Roman Senate to elect him Consul. He would later be known as Augustus. In 1612, three women from Samlesbury, England, were put on trial, being accused of being witches. They became known as the “Samlesbury Witches.” On the same date in 1692, five people were executed in Salem, Massachusetts, after being convicted of witchcraft. In 1839, Jacque Daguerre’s new photographic technique was demonstrated to the French Academy of Sciences. In 1895, John Wesley Hardin, murderer and outlaw, was killed by an off-duty policeman in El Paso, Texas. In 1955, Hurricane Diane claimed 200 lives in the NE U.S. On this date in 1990, Leonard Bernstein conducted his final performance. And, on this date, in 1993, Stephanie Renee Bickley was born!
Today’s birthdays include Marcus Aurelius Probus (Roman emperor), C.I. Scofield (Scofield Reference Bible), Orville Wright (the Wright brothers), Coco Chanel (French designer), Ogden Nash (American poet), Philo Farnsworth (American inventor), Malcolm Forbes (American publisher), Gene Roddenberry (American TV producer, Star Trek), Willie Shoemaker (American jockey), Ginger Baker (English musician, Cream), Jill St. John (American actress), Johnny Nash (American singer/songwriter), Ian Gillan (English singer, Deep Purple), Dawn Steel (American film producer), Bill Clinton (42nd President), Tipper Gore (V.P. wife), John Deacon (English musician (Queen), Jonathan Frakes (American actor/director), Ned Yost (American baseball player/manager), Peter Gallagher (American actor), Gary Gaetti (American baseball player), Ron Darling (American baseball player/announcer), John Stamos (American actor), Kevin Dillon (American actor), Kyra Sedgwick (American actress), Matthew Perry (American actor), J.J. Hardy (American baseball player), Erika Christensen (American actress, Parenthood), and Stephanie Renee Bickley (daughter).
Wow, Stephanie sure shares her birthday with a lot of famous people! One that she might not be so familiar with (she is well aware of John Stamos, Ron Darling, Bill Clinton, and J.J. Hardy) is Kyra Sedgwick. Kyra is an actress with plenty of roles, but the one we are most familiar with in the Bickleyhouse is Brenda Leigh Johnson in The Closer. Oh, and she has also been married to Kevin Bacon since 1988. Here is a humorous clip from an episode of The Closer.
Today’s Bible reading (should I remember to read it) is Exodus 4 and Matthew 25.
Today’s Psalm, from Heart Aflame, is Psalm 93.
The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.
Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
“A simple survey of the world should of itself suffice to attest a Divine Providence. The heavens revolve daily, and, immense as is their fabric, and inconceivable the rapidity of their revolutions, we experience no concussion–no disturbance in the harmony of their motion. The sun, though varying its course every diurnal revolution, returns annually to the same point. The planets, in all their wanderings, maintain their respective positions. How could the earth hang suspended in the air were it not upheld by God’s hand? By what means could it maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it?” (p 232)
Father, I pray that, as I look at the creation around me, the earth and the skies and all that fills them, I will remember you as Creator. Of course, the scientific “facts” have changed since John Calvin wrote these words, but that in no way diminishes your power and authority over all creation. When I look at the night sky, especially when I am in a place where light pollution is absent, I am amazed. I praise you, Father, for your creation, and it gives me joy and comfort to think that the One who created all of this has arranged for me to be a part of his Kingdom. Thank you for placing me in Christ, Father. Thank you for adopting me as your child. I pray for the confidence and boldness to proclaim your Kingdom to a lost world. May I be faithful to communicate your love to all people.
I pray for this day, Lord, that we might have a wonderful time with Stephanie as we celebrate her birthday. Keep us safe as we travel around, and may our joy be full today. Thank you for all the friends who have already wished her a happy birthday. Such good friends, Father, that care so deeply for her. That could only happen through you and your love for us.
Your grace is sufficient!
When you look at creation, especially in the sky above us, I pray that it will remind you of the One who holds it all together.
Grace and peace, friends.