A Person, Not A Cause

“Men, as well as women, are much oftener led by their hearts than by their understandings.”~~Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is muskeg, “A swamp or bog consisting of a mixture of water and partly dead vegetation, often covered by a layer of sphagnum or other mosses; terrain characterized by such swamps.”

Today is Belly Laugh Day. They do say that laughter is the best medicine. And I should be really good at this, as I have a fairly large belly.

We had a rather productive day, yesterday. After grocery shopping, we picked up a couple of movies at Redbox. We got A Walk in the Woods, with Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson, along with War Room. Then, we drove through the pharmacy (not literally) and picked up some meds. After that, we stopped at the auto store to get a windshield wiper for my car, along with some washer fluid, as I was almost completely out. Sadly, we had to enlist the help of a good Samaritan (again, not a literal Samaritan), to get the old one off. Turns out we were pushing something the wrong direction. Sigh. So, we got home and put away all the groceries (isn’t this fun stuff?), and then headed out to . . . Oh! I forgot! We also went to Sonic for drinks, somewhere in there! Then we went to Office Depot to pick out a new chair for my study. Sadly, my old faithful desk chair was discovered to be broken, yesterday morning. I knew it had been listing slightly to the right, as of late, but had not noticed that the arm bracket was completely broken in two. We found a nice one. Goodness, those things are expensive. The good ones, anyway. I’m a pretty heavy guy, so it has to be sturdier than your average $99 desk chair. This one was $219, and it was on sale, I believe for $100 off. Christi put it together (she likes doing that sort of thing) while we watched A Walk in the Woods, which turned out to be a delightful movie. I really enjoyed it.

Today, we have our usual worship gathering, at 10:15, after which Christi is scheduled to go give blood. We will watch War Room after she gets back. That’s all we have planned for today.

If you are in the area, you are welcome to join us for our worship time. We meet at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 North Beach, Fort Worth, TX. We are The Exchange.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

Psalm 18:7-15

The images that David presents here are violent images: Earthquakes, lightning, thunder, volcanic eruptions . . . all “images of the God who is tremendously active beneath the surface of casually observed life.”

“Lord, in my little faith, I try to reduce you to a convenient size and harness your attributes to my requirements. I need your thundering word to lay the foundations of my world bare so I can see that you are not a convenience to use, but the very rock on which I stand. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Overmastering Direction.”

for I have appeared to you for this purpose.
Acts 26:16

When the Lord appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, it was not a fleeting, emotional encounter, “but a vision that had very clear and emphatic direction for him. As he describes this to King Agrippa, he says, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” In essence, the Lord said to Paul, “Your life belongs to me.”

Most of us have some kind of “vision” (not a literal vision, but more like a deep sense of purpose for life) when we become Christians, an idea of what Christ wants us to accomplish. Like Paul, we need to not be disobedient to the vision, “not to say that it cannot be attained.”

What Paul received was not so much “a message or doctrine to proclaim, he was brought into a vivid, personal, overmastering relationship to Jesus Christ.” He was not devoted to a cause, but to a person. Later, in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul says, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Father, as I live my life, may I continue to reject being sucked in by various causes. There is no cause on this earth that matters as much as my devotion to you in Jesus Christ. He is the only “cause” that is worthy of my devotion and attention. I pray for a restoration of vision, a re-connection with the purpose of my life.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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