“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”~~Aristotle
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is insouciant, “free from concern, worry, or anxiety; carefree; nonchalant.” I recall (perhaps incorrectly) that the first time I ever heard the word was in college, from the lips of our organ professor, John Burkett. If anything, Dr. Burkett embodied the meaning of the word.
Today is Kazoo Day. This, of course, celebrates the small buzzing instrument through which you hum a tune. Not the cartoon alien from The Flintstones. The kazoo is especially effective when shaped like a trombone.
Well, yesterday morning, I got the word that my cousin’s son passed away. The interesting thing is that, on the way to work, yesterday morning, I prayed for mercy. Yes, I prayed for a miracle, as I had been doing all along, but I prayed for mercy. I’m not implying that my prayer for mercy hastened things. Not at all. Just an interesting observation. Sometimes, God answers prayers in a different way than we might expect.
So, I’m taking today and tomorrow off work, as the funeral is tomorrow (Friday) at 2PM. Stephanie and I will be heading to east Texas (Henderson) at about noon today. We will be spending tonight and tomorrow. Christi can’t go, as she is in the middle of pretty important work stuff. That’s okay, as I wasn’t expecting her to be able to take off and go. However, I will miss her dearly over the next couple of days. I always find strength in her presence, especially during times like this.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.
As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me.
Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—
the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me,
who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence.
For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name.
Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.
“If God’s business is deliverance and salvation, our business is witness and praise–to say that happens under a living God and then to sing it.”
“I sing your praises, Redeemer God. You lift me up, you deliver me, you give new strength, you give me good work to do. Because you live, I live. I praise your great name. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
Today’s reading is “But It Is Hardly Credible That One Could So Persecute Jesus.”
Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?
What does this long title mean? Could it be that any of us, in modern times, persecute Christ the way Saul did? What about when I am set in my own way? “Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ.” We are so insistent on our “rights.” When will we Christians fully learn that, when we stand on the rock that is Jesus Christ, we give up our rights? “Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus.” Everything that I do should be established in a “oneness” with Christ, “not on a self-willed determination to be godly.”
Father, you have worked in my spirit to teach me this thing about “rights.” But even after having “learned” this, I still fall into the trap of insisting on my rights. Help me to surrender them fully to you, Lord, so that I can do whatever it is that you have for me to do. Let this life not be about me or what can benefit me. Let this life be fully surrendered to you, that it can be about you and what can benefit you.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.