He Loves You To the Stars

The cake is a lie! The cake is a lie! The cake is a lie!

Today’s word of the day, from dictionary.com, is shirk. To “shirk” is “to evade (work, duty, responsibility, etc.).” I am shirking today, evading work. However, it’s “legal,” as I am on my last day of PTO for the year.

Today is Dictionary Day. I suspect that many people on Facebook have never used one. But this day celebrates the achievements of Noah Webster.

I had a rough night last night. Stephanie and I ordered pizza, and Christi still wasn’t feeling well, so she didn’t have any. But the pizza was really greasy. Like an idiot, I ate it anyway, then fought off feelings of nausea for about two hours in the middle of the night. My sleep after that finally settled was fitful, so I’m pretty tired this morning. I think I’m okay, though, while Christi still feels under the weather.

We are heading to Mineral Wells in about an hour, for lunch with Grandma, along with some business that we need to take care of. We will have a nice visit together, I’m sure, but it won’t be all pleasure. In fact, some of it will probably be difficult, as we need to go out to the cemetery to select a gravestone. In four days, we will be at the six-month mark. In a way, it feels much longer than that, and, even though we don’t talk about it much, there are days when we are, without any warning, whatsoever, driven to tears with memories. That’s how grieving goes, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

Tomorrow will be different, as we have moved our worship services to Sunday mornings at a local YMCA that doesn’t open until 1:00 PM on Sundays. The first service at that time and location was last week, while we were in Mexico, so this will be our first time. We aren’t sure what to expect, in terms of set-up and everything. I think we are supposed to be there at 7:45, which means we’ll need to get up pretty early Sunday.

On this date in 1793, Marie Antoinette was guillotined. In 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the first Planned Parenthood clinic. In 1923, Walt and Roy Disney founded the Walt Disney Company. In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today’s birthdays include Noah Webster (American lexicographer), Oscar Wilde (Irish writer), Eugene O’Neill (American writer), Goose Goslin (American baseball player), Charles Colson (American Watergate figure), Dave DeBusschere (American basketball player), Barry Corbin (American actor), Fred Turner (Canadian bass player, Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Suzanne Somers (American actress), Bob Weir (American musician, Grateful Dead), Tim Robbins (American actor), Wendy Wilson (American singer, Wilson Phillips), and John Mayer (American musician).

Oscar Wilde was born on this date in 1854. He lived a brief and complex life, dealing with many lifestyle issues in a day and time when such a lifestyle was far from acceptable. He is famous for his many quotable statements, ten of which are featured in this video clip. He died in 1900, from cerebral meningitis.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

I’m continuing in the chapter on seeking the face of God. I confess, it’s been a while, and I have to struggle to remember what has gone before. In this section on “knowing the Father,” Keller focuses on the beginning of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians, where is says he “kneels before the Father” (Ephesians 3:14). This was not the normal prayer posture for Christians and Jews of Paul’s day. It was “an act of special reverence.”

It is important to note that God is, indeed, our Father. Paul, in Romans 8, says that we have “received the Spirit of adoptions as sons,” which enables us to pray, “Abba! Father!” Then, in verse 16, Paul gives us a primary purpose of the Spirit’s ministry in our lives: The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. “So another aspect of communion with God is a deeper understanding and the appropriation of our family relationship with the Father.”

Remember when the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus at his baptism? He proclaimed the Sonship of Jesus Christ. This same Holy Spirit, then bears witness into our own hearts that we, also, are God’s sons, and that his love for us is great. We may know these things in our heads, but “the Holy Spirit makes them a fiery reality in your life.”

Consider a father and son walking side by side. Suddenly, the father whisks the son up in his arms, hugs him tight, kisses him, and tells him how much he loves him. Is that son any more a son in his father’s arms than when he is walking beside him? Of course not! But the experience is different, isn’t it?

“When the Holy Spirit comes down on you in fullness, you can sense your Father’s arms beneath you.” My friends, I have, in fact, experienced this very thing. Many years ago, during a very difficult time in my life, I stood in front of my Grandmother’s house, beneath some trees, and cried out, “Am I really your child??” I received, at that point, what was probably the greatest outpouring of the Father’s love that I have ever experienced. I believe that God, my Father, wrapped his arms around me, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and gave me a great big hug. I will never forget that day, or that feeling.

These experiences with the Father can give us “joyful fearlessness” by making us aware of the reality that we are his children. “He loves you to the stars and will never let you go.”

Grace and peace, friends.

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