“I Remember the Devotion of Your Youth”

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”~~Frederick Douglass
(BrainyQuote)

Hah! Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com is presenteeism, “the practice of coming to work despite illness, injury, anxiety, etc., often resulting in reduced productivity.” There is a second definition, “the practice of working long hours at a job without the real need to do so.” Give me a soapbox, please. The common practice of most companies, these days, actually encourages this thing called presenteeism. They no longer offer “sick leave” as a benefit, lumping everything into this thing called PTO (Paid Time Off). Nobody wants to use their “vacation” time as “sick leave,” so people come to work sick, which makes other people sick, so they come to work sick, which makes other people sick, and so on, and so on. Really frustrating. Also? I know of at least one person at my job that fits the second definition. But that’s really of no consequence to me. Okay. Done with the soapbox.

Today is Hugging Day. I love hugs. I’m a hugger. None of this “side hug” stuff, either. I mean, I’ll take that, if that’s all you’re comfortable with. And if you’re too far away, I’ll give you a cyberhug. It’s also Squirrel Appreciation Day. Go ahead. Be daring. Hug a squirrel. If you can catch one. 🙂

I have no update on my cousin’s son (who technically is my cousin, too . . . first cousin, once removed, if I understand this whole cousin hierarchy correctly). As far as I know, the situation has not changed. I will say that all of the prayers are most certainly appreciated.

It’s been a pretty good week, so far, at work. Yesterday went well. Christi was a little late getting home, as she stopped by the place where our youth meet on Wednesdays. Several of us are helping out one of the youth’s mothers who is in a desperate situation, so Christi stopped to meet with her. That’s really all I’m going to say about that, as I don’t believe in trumpeting “good works.” We’re just trying to live out the Gospel, you know. I made chili while waiting for her to get home, and it was delicious. I’m not really complimenting my own cooking . . . it all comes out of cans. Except for the meat. That would be weird.

We watched new episodes of The Grinder, Downton Abbey, and New Girl, then went to bed. I did NOT play Fallout 4 last night.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
From your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right!
You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.

Psalm 17:1-7

No matter what the circumstances, we can be assured that we will have an audience with God, our Father. “He will hear us out. We can lay our entire case before him without fear of being interrupted, or hurried, or cut off.” How many humans do you know of whom that is true? God has all the time in the world. He will listen to us. He may not answer the way we expect or desire. But he will listen. And, also unlike humans, we can lash out at him without fear of retribution. Our Father is patient and kind.

“I need to be listened to, O God: listen to me. I need to be understood: understand me. I need to be justified: justify me, for Jesus’ sake, in whose name I pray. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Recall What God Remembers.”

“I remember the devotion of your youth,”
Jeremiah 2:2

Oswald Chambers is calling us to remember what God remembers about us. Can we remember the devotion of our youth? “Am I as spontaneously kind to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be kind to me?” Has my soul forgotten what God prizes, what makes his heart happy?

In the Jeremiah passage, God is remembering the time when his people were in love with him. “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride . . .” he says to them. It would do us well to recall back to the time when we were “full of the extravagance of love to Jesus Christ,” going out of our way to prove our devotion to him.

“If, as I recall what God remembers about me, I find He is not what He used to be to me, let it produce shame and humiliation, because that shame will bring the godly sorrow that works repentance.”

Father, help me to take stock of where I am today, in comparison to my youth, when I first fell in love with you in Christ. Show me where my love has faded, but also where my love for you has matured beyond the “honeymoon excitement” of natural relationships. Show me things that are taking precedence over you and help me delete them.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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