Good morning. It is Thursday, October 1, 2015. OCTOBER!!
In a rare, somewhat humorous, occasion, I have two words of the day that seem to contradict each other. The Oxford English Dictionary has oblectation, which means, “Delight, pleasure, enjoyment,” while Merriam-Webster has consternation, which means, “amazement or dismay that hinders or throws into confusion.”
Today is International Coffee Day. I’ve got mine!
I had to work late, yesterday, so I was wolfing down a Sonic cheeseburger on the way to the PAT meeting, and was still thirty minutes late for it. But I got there. There’s a mixture of emotions over this move. Part of which involves the time frame that we are tied to for our services. It seems we have to vacate the facility by 11:00 AM, each Sunday, and we can get in at 7:00. So setup will start at 7:00, practice at 7:30 (I think that’s a bit optimistic, myself), and the worship gathering at 9:15. We haven’t yet discussed what we will do with the Anchor prayer gathering. I’ve already assumed that it might have to happen on a different day, at someone’s home. However, there might be time, if we can do it at 8:15, before the worship gathering. Christi will have to be up there by 7:30, in order to run the slides for the worship team practice.
Christi has her Huddle tonight, which will make night number four that we really don’t get to see much of each other. The Huddle meetings will be over soon, though. Not sure what’s happening after that.
In baseball, while the National League playoff picture is pretty much settled, the American League picture is fuzzier than a dustbunny. The Blue Jays clinched their division last night, when they trounced the O’s 15-2. The Royals clinched their division last week, I believe. However, in the West, while the Rangers still lead the division, the Astros are 2 games behind them, and the Angels are 2.5 games behind them. The Rangers and Angels play each other in a four game series, beginning tonight. The Astros are off tonight (who let THAT happen??), so they only have three games left. If the Rangers can win tonight, they will eliminate the Angels from the picture, and reduce their magic number to one. Basically, they just need to win, and it won’t matter what the Astros do. The Evil Empire is 2.5 games up in the Wild Card race, which still involves Houston (who is currently back in the second Wild Card spot) and the Angels, as well as, but just barely, the Twins. The Red Sox have beaten the Evil Empire in three consecutive games, each time denying the Empire their 10,000th win! I think that is hilarious. They play each other one last time, tonight. Also, the Red Sox have worked their way up to third place, which is respectable, considering where they have been for most of the season. Sadly, they are no longer in contention for the Wild Card spot.
(From Heart Aflame)
They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt,
wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
Therefore he said he would destroy them— had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise.
They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD.
Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
and would make their offspring fall among the nations, scattering them among the lands.
Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
they provoked the LORD to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed.
And that was counted to him as righteousness from generation to generation forever.
They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account,
for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke rashly with his lips.
They did not destroy the peoples, as the LORD commanded them,
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let’s just say I really needed to read that passage today.
(From Solid Joys)
Today’s reading is “The All-Satisfying Object.”
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Our quest for delight in the Lord, for pleasure in him, seems to be commanded in this verse. Over and over, the Psalmists sought to find pleasure in God. Psalm 42:1-2 is a favorite verse. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 63:1 also speaks of an unquenchable thirst for God. O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 36:8 speaks of the satisfaction for that thirst. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. In Psalm 34:8, one of my favorite verses, we get this: Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! John Piper says, “I found that the goodness of God, the very foundation of worship, is not a thing you pay your respects to out of some kind of disinterested reverence. No, it is something to be enjoyed.” How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)
C.S. called God in the Psalms, the “all-satisfying Object.” We find exceeding joy in him, for which we are able to adore our God. “He is the source of complete and unending pleasure:” in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
Father, my mind and spirit have struggled, lately, with this concept of joy. I have not had much joy this week, it seems. I pray for you to restore this joy. I pray that you restore joy that is only found in you. I confess that I have, once again, let adverse circumstances win the day. I am a sinful person, Father, when I allow this to happen. May I find my joy in you and you alone, for you are the only consistent thing in my life. Even among people that I love, there is always going to be inconsistency, just as I am always going to be a source of inconsistency and frustration for them. But you, O God! You are always loving! You are always there, holding me in your hands, even in the most undesirable circumstances! Help me to keep my eyes on this truth! Do not allow me to allow circumstances to control my emotions and my spirit.
I pray for this day, Father, that our travel to work and back will be safe. I pray for our feelings about the church moving and new times. I pray for Stephanie, Rachel, Justin, and Mama, that your grace would find them and hold them today. May they all know your unfailing love in their lives. I also pray for our upcoming vacation trip, that everything will go smoothly for it.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Our Father in heaven, the “all-satisfying Object,” is the only source of true joy. May we find this joy today.
Grace and peace, friends.