Good morning. It is Sunday, August 30, 2015. Only one more day in August.
Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is moot. If you click on the link, you will find a lot of definitions. The one for the word of the day listing is the adjective, which means, “open to question : debatable,” “subjected to discussion : disputed,” or, “deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic.” The most common usage is the latter of those. One reason that I chose this particular word was to highlight the fact that the word is moot, not “mute,” as is commonly, mistakenly, used. The point is not “mute,” it is “moot.” No extra charge for that lesson.
Today is Pony Express Day. “Pony Express Day celebrates those brave souls who made up the unique mail delivery system of the same name.”
I had a really great time last night, but it almost didn’t happen. While we were eating lunch, yesterday, I started feeling quite nauseated. I don’t know what was wrong, but I didn’t finish lunch. Since I was supposed to go out with Rob after church, Christi left earlier, in her car, and I was to follow later, and get drinks from Sonic on the way. I went ahead and did that, not feeling very well at all. I was able to lead the prayer gathering, and asked for prayer during that, saying that I might be going home between prayer and worship, also letting Rob know that I might not be able to make it for the evening. But by the time prayer was over, I was feeling better. I stayed for the worship gathering, and, afterward, decided that I was up to going out.
We decided to go for a movie, to the somewhat new Moviehouse & Eatery, in Keller. We elected to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which started at 9:15. That gave us just over an hour before movie-time, so we sat at the bar and had some burgers, which turned out to be quite tasty. The place is a bit pricey, but nice. Just inside the door, it resembles a hotel lobby, or something similar, with a huge bar toward the back. The movie tickets were $12, and my burger w/fries was $12.50. The seats in the theater were luxurious recliner-style, with a food tray that swings over the lap. Food was also available in the theater, with the same menu as out in the lobby. However, since I had already eaten, I just got popcorn and a Diet Coke. The “bottomless” popcorn was $7 (not bad at all, compared to regular theaters), and the “bottomless” soda was $4.
The movie was entertaining, but just a tad too long, I think. It is almost 2.5 hours, and I think it would have been better at the 2 hour mark. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it, and noted afterward that I didn’t remember a single cuss word in it, which is extremely rare. Basically, it’s just action/adventure, no sex, no bad language. Overall, a good movie. My favorite characters were Simon Pegg’s and Jeremy Renner’s. Rebecca Ferguson also did a great job in the roll of Ilsa Faust. She reminded me of the classic “Bond girl” from days gone by. Except a tad tougher.
Not sure what’s on the plate for today. We had talked about maybe going bowling, but that was before Christ’s leg popped again. Oh. I forgot mention that, above. When Christi was going up the stairs at church, her calf muscle popped again, so she’s back to having serious pain when she walks. Very frustrating. So we may not do much of anything at all today. But isn’t that what a “day of rest” should be like?
On this date in 1791, the HMS Pandora sank after running aground on a reef. In 1835, Melbourne, Australia, was founded. One year later, to the day, Houston, Texas was founded. On this date in 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.
Today’s birthdays include Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (English writer), Shirley Booth (American actress), Joan Blondell (American actress), Fred MacMurray (American actor), Ted Williams (American baseball player), Kitty Wells (American country singer), Geoffrey Beene (American fashion designer), Warren Buffet (American entrepreneur), John Phillips (The Mamas & the Papas), Elizabeth Ashley (American actress), Jean-Claude Killy (French skier), Robert Crumb (American cartoonist), Tug McGraw (American baseball player/manager), Molly Ivins (American political humorist), Peggy Lipton (American actress, Mod Squad), Lewis Black (American comedian), Timothy Bottoms (American actor), Michael Chiklis (American actor), Cameron Diaz (American actress), Marlon Byrd (American baseball player), Cliff Lee (American baseball player), and Adam Wainwright (American baseball player).
A lot of baseball birthdays, today. But, without a doubt, the most influential of all of those is the Splendid Splinter, Teddy Ballgame, Ted Williams. Born on this date in 1918, Ted Williams is statistically the greatest hitter to ever play the game of baseball. He is the last player to finish a season with a .400+ batting average. He still holds the honor of having the longest home run in Fenway Park, so illustrated by the lone red seat in the right field stands.
That red seat is 502 feet from home plate. Here is a video clip of Williams hitting a home run in his last MLB at bat.
Max Factor, Sr., Charles Coburn, Vera-Ellen, Charles Bronson, and Glenn Ford are among notable deaths on this date.
Today’s Psalm, from Heart Aflame, is Psalm 101.
A Psalm of David.
I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.
No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.
Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
We have arrived at the third petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “your will be done.” This, if we truly comprehend it, is one of the more difficult petitions of the prayer. Martin Luther paraphrases it like this: “Grant us grace to bear willingly all sorts of sickness, poverty, disgrace, suffering, and adversity and to recognize that in this your divine will is crucifying our will.” It also directs us back to the first phrase of the prayer, “Our Father in heaven,” because, if we are not certain that God is our Father, how can we pray, “your will be done?” Keller says, “Only if we trust God as Father can we ask for grace to bear our troubles with patience and grace.”
So, how are we sure that God is trustworthy? One way is to see that this petition is one that our Savior, himself, prayed when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, under much more dire circumstances than any of us are likely to face.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus Christ submitted to his Father’s will, rather than assert his own, and the result was our salvation. This is why we can trust God. “Jesus is not asking us to do anything for him that he hasn’t already done for us, under conditions of difficulty beyond our comprehension.”
Luther also says that, if we do not have this trust in God, we might try to take God’s place and “seek revenge on those who have harmed us.” Keller adds to this, “If we can’t truly say ‘thy will be done’ from the bottom of our hearts, we will never know any peace. We will feel compelled to try to control people and control our environment and make things the way we believe they ought to be.” Calvin goes even farther with this and says that, when we pray “your will be done,” we are submitting not only our will to God, but our feelings as well, “that we do not become despondent, bitter, and hardened by the things that befall us.”
As we have considered these first three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, the order is important. “We are not to let our own needs and issues dominate prayer; rather, we are to give pride of place to praising and honoring him, to yearning to see his greatness and to see it acknowledged everywhere, and to aspiring to full love and obedience.” We must allow our prayers to begin with adoration and praise, along with “God-centeredness,” so that we can be healed of our own self-centeredness, “which curves us in on ourselves and distorts all our vision.”
Father, may I truly be able to pray, “Your will be done,” in my prayers. I also pray for the grace to do prayer in the right order. So many times, I just into the needs of people around me, my family and friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, before I take the time to acknowledge your place in my life, your over-riding holiness and awesomeness, and the fact that your will for my life just might not line up with what I think it should be. May this prayer, “Your will be done,” be a staple in my prayer life, and may it be a truly honest prayer from the depths of my being.
I pray for this day, that we will get some good rest as we prepare for the coming work week. I pray for relief for Christi, from this nagging pain in her calf muscle. I pray for healing, that she might not have to visit a doctor. But if she winds up having to do that, I pray for wisdom for whoever she visits, that the right diagnosis and treatment will be made.
Your grace is sufficient, Father.
Toward the end of his life, my father was known to say that “Your will be done” was the one prayer that could never fail. May it be so in our lives.
Grace and peace, friends.