“Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.”~~Albert Einstein
Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is ruly, “obedient, orderly.” Now be honest with me. How many of you knew that “ruly” was a word? I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it? We always talk of people, especially children, being “unruly,” so “ruly” would be the opposite, wouldn’t it? But my browser spell-checker doesn’t know it’s a word, either, so don’t feel bad.
Today is World Toilet Day. No, really. I’m serious. Did you know that, on a global scale, one out of every three people does not have access to a toilet? That’s approximately 2.5 billion people. Needless to say, that makes for some pretty drastic sanitation issues in some parts of the world. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to “celebrate” this particular “holiday,” though.
My doctor appointment went pretty well, yesterday evening. I like the new PA they have there, Amber Mayes. She seemed very “real” and easy to talk to. She told me stuff that I had never heard before, about weight loss and hormones. She listened quite openly about my possibly irrational fear of taking statin drugs for cholesterol. You see, I have read that there is possible evidence that statins, such as Simvastatin and Atorvastatin, damage muscle tissue, and might even trigger Inclusion Body Myositis, which is, of course, the disease that killed my father. Ms. Mayes said that she would read up on that. In the meantime, she is okay with me not taking it, as long as I am trying to do something about it in more natural ways, with more healthy eating and exercise. Other than that, all they did was poke around on my feet to make sure I’m not losing any feeling sensations in my feet. Everything was good, there.
Today, we have our “pot luck” lunch at work, for which I am taking a dump cake. Christi has her final Huddle meeting tonight, and I will be doing some last minute house cleaning, laundry folding, and, if time allows, practicing for Saturday’s band concert. Tomorrow evening, after work, we will be driving to Mineral Wells to pick up my mother. She will be spending the weekend with us, going to the Christmas Tree lighting on Saturday, and church with us on Sunday morning.
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
In the final section of the chapter on intimacy and finding the grace of God, Timothy Keller takes us to Macbeth. But first, he reminds us of Jesus’s first official miracle. You know, when he turned the water into wine at the wedding celebration in Cana. What is significant is that he used large stone jars for the water. And those large stone jars were the ones that were used for rites of purification, according to Jewish law. These rites communicated a crucial truth to the people; that none of us is what we ought to be. We all know shame; we all know guilt; and we all know that something must be done to cleanse us from the “dirt and stain of sin” before we can enter into the presence of God. When Jesus put his wine in those jars, he was telling us that he could do that for us.
Even those of us who have never read or seen Macbeth are familiar with Lady Macbeth’s scene where she has gone a bit mad and keeps seeing blood on her hands. You see, she helped her husband murder a couple of people, and the shame has driven her to madness. “Out, damned spot! . . . who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.” Nothing she can do can remove the stain of blood on her hand. Just like Lady Macbeth, we humans know we are stained. But “beating ourselves up and doing good works can’t eradicate it.” “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!”
But God (again, two of my favorite words in all of Scripture) . . . But God has sacrificed Jesus Christ on the cross, that we might be able to have the spot and stain of sin removed, because we cannot remove them ourselves. “That’s why we must stop trying to cleanse ourselves through self-punishment, or to get a sense of cleanliness by living in denial about our sin.” Rather, we go in prayer, looking to the work of Christ on the cross, repenting of and forsaking our sin.
Father, help me to see the truth in this, to know that Jesus has done enough to cleanse me, and that I need not keep trying to cleanse myself. Even after all of these years of being a believer, I still fall into that trap of trying to appease you through “good works.” I know, in my heart, that this is impossible. Jesus truly has paid it all, and all I must do is live in that reality, repenting of sin and forsaking it. Help me do that, through your Holy Spirit.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.