“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”~~Thomas Merton
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is nonce, “the present, or immediate, occasion or purpose (usually used in the phrase for the nonce).”
Today is Serpent Day. Before you go running from the room, realize that this is not so much about snakes as it is about stopping to reflect and ponder, and come to grips with our fears. “Should you decide to celebrate Serpent Day, you could spend this time contemplating some of your key life experiences and deciding what lessons they’ve taught you and how you could use this knowledge to improve your life in the future.”
Yesterday was a good day. It started out rough, but got better quickly. As already stated (perhaps not necessarily in these words), I was pretty much an emotional blob of goo yesterday morning. I was struggling to even want to go to church, much less to the PAT meeting afterward. But when I got to church, I began to talk to people; to people who dared to ask, “How are you doing?” At first, I only said, “I’ve been better.” Then I started elaborating a little. No one ran away from me. They stood and listened. And they cared. Some hugged. It helped. It helped a lot. As the worship progressed, I got into it. I released a good bit of the stuff to the Lord through the worship time. The message was all about the Church, her purpose, and her people. This helped remind me of how much I love the Church. I love the Church because Jesus loves the Church. And, as it has been said, you can’t love Jesus and hate the Church. You just can’t. Anyway, the PAT meeting after church went very well. We had some good discussion about how things have gone since we moved to the YMCA building, and I contributed a lot more than I thought I was going to.
It’s Monday, again, so I have band practice tonight. It’s the long day of the week, but the last part of it is the most fun. I can’t think of anything else significant going on this week. Just work.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call.
It is appropriate to boast when the Lord answers prayer. That is, of course, if we boast in the right direction. “When God shows himself to be the God who brings victory, the God who enters history and responds to human need with salvation, the proper response os boasting that matures into praise.”
“‘Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ my God:
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.’
(Isaac Watts, ‘When I Survey The Wondrous Cross’).
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
Today’s reading is “The Call of God.”
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel,
1 Corinthians 1:17
Paul’s calling was to preach the Gospel. Looking back at yesterday’s reading, Chambers states that the Gospel is the “reality of Redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ.” We must not make holiness or sanctification the end of our preaching. We are not “commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification; we are commissioned to lift up Jesus Christ (John 12:32).” I must never say that Jesus “travailed in Redemption to make me a saint.” It’s not about me; it will never be about me.
“The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the Gospel of God. He welcomed heartbreaks, disillusionments, tribulation, for one reason only, because these things kept him in unmoved devotion to the Gospel of God.”
Father, while my calling might not be to preach, it is still related to your Gospel. I am called to live out the Gospel in the world around me, and to seek out those who would be disciples of Jesus. By your grace, and your grace alone, I am saved, and continue to walk this earth. Help me, by the power of your Holy Spirit and the Gospel, to live out my calling in your name.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.