Plan to Pray

Back home, but not back to work! Two more days of vacation left!

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is miasma. This noun means, “a vaporous exhalation formerly believed to cause disease; also : a heavy vaporous emanation or atmosphere, or, “an influence or atmosphere that tends to deplete or corrupt; also : an atmosphere that obscures : fog.”

Today is Conflict Resolution Day, a global event intended to “promote the concept of peaceful conflict resolution.”

We had a splendid trip back home, yesterday. After this trip, we are definitely fans of Sun Country Airlines. Their motto seems to be, “We want to go early.” They said that numerous times as we were preparing for take off and landing. And they did seem to be in a hurry, too, which we certainly didn’t mind. The only downside to yesterday was Apple Vacations insisting on picking us up at our hotel at 9:00 AM when our flight didn’t leave until 1:40 PM. The excuse used was that we had booked “shared transport.” Okay, we understand that. There are other people to be picked up for other flights. However, as it turned out, all of the other people were at the same Iberostar complex, and all of their flights left after 1:00 PM. Two of them were even on the same flight we were on!

We got to the airport, and had to sit for an hour before we could even check in, as there were no Sun Country reps at the counter until 10:50. And why would they be? The next flight wasn’t scheduled until 1:40! Then, after we finally got checked in (very smooth process both ways), we had to sit for another two hours at the gate.

So, as we consider this vacation trip, we would give high ratings to the airline, Sun Country, but low ratings for Apple Vacations (which we will definitely not use again), and Iberostar. However, we might stay at an Iberostar again. The place was nice, and the room service food was delicious. We also liked the one in Cancun, when we stayed there. It’s just that, in our opinion, neither Apple Vacations nor Iberostar handled this crisis in the best way. Christi read some accounts that were even worse than ours. Apparently, not everyone booked at the Tucan got to go to another Iberostar. But it sounds like no one was given a choice in the matter.

One other thing we have learned. For us, at least, October is not a good month to go to Mexico. It’s just as hot as Texas, and about twice as humid. It’s much better in the winter, when it’s cold (sometimes) in Texas, but mild, in the seventies, in Mexico. We have filed that information for future reference.

We have no plans today, and Christi isn’t feeling well. She started feeling under the weather Tuesday night, and wasn’t well all day, yesterday, which is truly a bummer. She might have a bit of a cold or something. Tomorrow, we plan to go to Mineral Wells to see my mother and take care of some business, such as ordering a gravestone for my father’s (and mother’s, eventually) grave site. We also need to take care of legal business with her lawyer, in town.

This date in 1582 directly followed October 4, as Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian Calendar. In 1793, Marie-Antoinette was tried, convicted, and condemned to death the next day. On this date in 1815, Napoleon I began his exile on Saint Helena. In 1888, the letter known as the “From Hell” letter was posted by a person claiming to be Jack the Ripper. It was received by George Lusk the following day.
FromHellLetter

In 1928, the Graf Zeppelin completed its first trans-Atlantic flight. In 1956, the first modern computer language, Fortran, was first shared with the coding community.

Today’s birthdays include Virgil (Roman poet), Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher), P.G. Wodehouse (British novelist), Mario Puzo (American novelist), Lee Iacocca (American auto exec), Berry McGuire (American singer), Linda Lavin (American actress), Penny Marshall (American actress/director), Jim Palmer (American baseball player), Richard Carpenter (American musician, The Carpenters), Chris de Burgh (Irish singer/songwriter), Tanya Roberts (American actress), Emerial Lagasse (American chef), Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York), and Dominic West (British actor).

Mata Hari, Cole Porter, and Edie Adams are among notable deaths on this date.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Plan for Prayer.”

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:7

“Prayer pursues joy in fellowship with Jesus and in the power to share his life with others.”

And when we pray, we glorify God by treating him as “the inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help.” When we pray, we admit our poverty, and we confess God’s bounty. We acknowledge our misery and claim his mercy.

We exalt and glorify God in prayer when we pursue all that we long for in him, and not in ourselves. In John 16:24, Jesus says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” If we combine this passage with some other words of Jesus, we could come up with, “Ask, and you will receive . . . that the Father may be glorified in the Son and . . . that your joy may be full.” One of the primary reasons that so many Christians don’t have a fulfilled prayer life probably has to do more with the lack of planning than the lack of desire.

Christi and I did not wake up Saturday morning and say, “Hey, let’s go to Mexico today!” We planned in advance, for many months. (And even with that, some of our plans did not quite go as we expected.) But isn’t that how we tend to treat prayer? We get up every day, and, at some point, we realize that significant prayer times should be part of our lives, but nothing is ready. We haven’t planned. We don’t know where to go, or how to get there. “The opposite of planning is the rut.”

Piper says this: “Therefore, my simple exhortation is this: Let us take time this very day to rethink our priorities and how prayer fits in. Make some new resolve. Try some new venture with God. Set a time. Set a place. Choose a portion of Scripture to guide you.”

We find ourselves all too easily “tyrannized by the press of busy days.” Even someone who has a good habit of prayer could use some “midcourse corrections.” May we turn to prayer and plan to pray, “for the glory of God and the fullness of your joy.”

Grace and peace, friends.

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