Search Me, O God!

“Not doing more than the average is what keeps the average down.~~William Lyon Phelps (Eduro)

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is pseudepigrapha, “Books or writings that are falsely titled or attributed; spurious or pseudonymous writings.”

Today is Games Day, created in 1975 by a British game production company when another games convention got cancelled. So play your favorite game today.

Yesterday was pretty grand! I arrived at the First Presbyterian Church in Grapevine right at 10:00 (I was supposed to be there between 9:45 and 10:00, but the highway department people had other ideas and shut down part of Loop 820 in North Richland Hills). It was all very casual, though, as you might expect from a group of trombone players. There were probably a dozen of us, roughly three people per part, and five of us were from the Southlake Community Band! There were three high school students, as well, which, to me, makes it even more special. We practiced for about an hour and a half, then broke for lunch.

I met up with Rachel, Justin, Christi, and Stephanie, at Willhoite’s on Main Street for a buffet lunch. We had a very nice time at lunch, and the food was pretty good. Especially their Ranch Dressing. Delicious! After lunch, I walked back to the car and got my gear, which included a stand from the church, and walked back up to the Main Street Gazebo, where we set up and had our Yuleslide performance. It was great fun, and we sounded pretty good, especially for only having rehearsed once! Our set list was “Angels, We Have Heard on High,” “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” “I Saw Three Ships,” “Let It Snow,” “Lo, How A Rose,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Ding Dong! Merrily On High,” “Up On the Housetop,” “The First Noel,” “Jingle Bells,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” That’s a lot of music!

There was a nice little group of people that hung around and listened for the entire performance, and our kids seemed to really enjoy it. Stephanie told me several times how great we sounded. I’m already looking forward to next year!

Today, we have church at 10:15, and, since yesterday was taken up by Yuleslide, we’ll have to get our groceries this afternoon. Then we will get some rest, this evening, in preparation for a short work week leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas.

On this date in:

1606–The Virginia Company loaded three ships with settlers and set sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia
1803–The Louisiana Purchase was completed
1860–South Carolina became the first state to secede from the United States
1987–The passenger ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with an oil tanker in the Tablas Strait in the Phillipines, killing somewhere between 1700 and 4000 people.
2007–Elizabeth II became the oldest ever monarch of the UK, outliving Queen Victoria, who lived 81 years, 7 months, and 29 days.

Today’s birthdays include:
1868–Harvey Firestone, American automobile pioneer
1881–Branch Rickey, baseball executive
1917–Audrey Totter, American actress
1944–Bobby Colomby, American musician, Blood, Sweat & Tears
1945–Peter Criss, American musician, KISS
1948–Alan Parsons, British music producer and artist
1949–Cecil Cooper, American baseball player
1952–Jenny Agutter, English actress
1970–Nicole De Boer, Canadian actress, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
1976–Aubrey Huff, American baseball player
1981–James Shields, American baseball player
1982–David Cook, American singer, American Idol winner

Branch Rickey was the baseball executive who made the ground-breaking decision to bring Jackie Robinson into Major League Baseball in 1945. Born on this date in 1881, he died in 1965, at the age of 83. Here’s a short video of him talking about baseball.

Sacagawea, Annie Armstrong, John Steinbeck, Roy Disney, Bobby Darin, Richard Daley, Arthur Rubinstein, Carl Sagan, Hank Snow, Foster Brooks, and Brittany Murphy are among notable deaths on this date.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Heart Aflame)

One more bit of John Calvin’s commentary on Psalm 139, concluding with verses 17-24.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

How often do we look at our hands and feet, and consider “the elegance of our shape?” How often do we consider our physical bodies and think of our life as coming from God? Calvin says, “Or if any recognise their life as coming from God, there is none at least who rises to the great truth that he who formed the ear, and the eye, and the understanding heart, himself hears, and sees and knows everything.”

David desires that others possess the same character as himself, being a “genuine worshipper of God.” He did not, and neither should we, think himself without sin, “for he groaned under the felt burden of his transgressions.” We depend fully upon the free grace of God and nothing else. Even so, David felt free to draw a distinction between himself and “the wicked,” and I think that this is a fair distinction. “While he denies that his heart was double or insincere, he does not profess exemption from all sin, but only that he was not devoted to wickedness.”

Father, it takes great courage to say, as David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart!” Of course, you don’t have to search me, because you already know my heart. You know its deepest, darkest places, and you know the places where you have free reign and control. I would that my entire heart would be fully devoted to you, free from darkness, deceit, and despair. Reign in my heart, my Father!

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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