The Destruction of Affinities

“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”~~Earnest Hemingway
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is psychedelicatessen, which is, “A shop selling psychedelic articles. Now chiefly in extended use with reference to music and art.” Sounds like my kind of place. Groovy, man.

Today is Take Your Child To the Library Day. You see, there’s this magical place, full of these things called “books.” Yeah, they have a few computer terminals. But books. And more books. Every kind imaginable. Please, oh, please, take your child to the library. And if you don’t have a child, take your own darned self to the library!

The library was just about my favorite place in the whole world, when I was growing up. I could lose myself in there. It was upstairs in the old Mineral Wells City Hall building. The floors were creaky wood floors, and the smell . . . oh, man, that smell!! I can close my eyes and almost smell it right now. Old books. What a beautiful aroma! The two librarians were pretty magical, themselves. There was always something special about them. Sigh. How I miss that library.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I got off work pretty close to the usual time, and got a little good news earlier in the day. I’m not going to share any of this story here until I know that it’s okay with the other person involved. But it made the day much better.

We’ll be leaving for Mineral Wells in a little while, to spend the night and go to church with Mama. We haven’t done that in a while, and Stephanie is pretty excited about that. I think Rachel and Just will meet us for lunch today, as well. Good times.

I have a serious prayer request for those of you who pray. We have some friends, a couple who live in San Antonio. Adam and Stephanie Green. She was Stephanie Foote many years ago, when we went to First Church Watauga, and was active in the children’s ministry there, so our kids know them, as well. She is experiencing some serious health issues, right now, apparently centering around her throat/esophagus area. So serious that she is currently in ICU for the third time in the past couple of weeks, if I understand correctly. Please pray for healing for her and peace for her husband and children.

On this date, in 1998, a rental car carrying Austrian Johann Holzel was struck by a bus in the Dominican Republic, where he was vacationing. Most of you probably don’t have a clue who that was. But if I call him “Falco,” you might know. In Austria, he was a superstar, releasing the original recording of “Der Kommisar” in 1982. His recording of that song barely made a dent in the U.S., but four years later, when he released “Rock Me Amadeus,” it shot to number one on the Billboard charts. Not only was he the first Austrian to hit number one on the U.S. charts, but he was also the first to score a number one hit on the American pop charts by a male rap artist! That’s right, boys and girls. ” . . . it wasn’t Doug E. Fresh or Kool Moe Dee or Kurtis Blow or Run-D.M.C. but an Austrian in a powdered wig who first brought hip hop—of a sort—to the top of the pops.” You can read the rest of the article, if you so desire, at History.com.

Today’s birthdays include:

1665–Anne of Great Britain, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland
1695–Nicolaus II Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician
1756–Aaron Burr, 3rd Vice President of the United States
1895–Babe Ruth, American baseball player
1911–Ronald Reagan, American actor and President
1912–Eva Braun, Hitler’s wife
1913–Mary Leakey, British anthropologist
1917–Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian actress
1922–Patrich Macnee, British actor
1931–Rip Torn, American actor
1940–Tom Brokaw, American news anchor
1941–Gigi Perreau, American actress
1943–Gayle Hunnicutt, American actress, born in Fort Worth, Texas
1945–Bob Marley, Jamaican musician
1950–Natalie Cole, American singer
1962–Axl Rose, American singer, Guns N’ Roses
1966–Rick Astley, British singer
1976–Kim Zmeskal, American gymnast
1988–Allison Holker, American dancer, married to tWitch

So, today is Rick Astley’s birthday, the teen pop star of the eighties, who gave us “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Someone with way too much time on their hands has given us this gem. It doesn’t work 100%, but it’s still fun, and quite unexpected.

Vince Guaraldi, Hugo Montenegro, Danny Thomas, Arthur Ashe, Carl Wilson, Falco, Frankie Laine, and Lew Burdette are among notable deaths on this date.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

Psalm 22:12-21

We cannot even begin to imagine what Jesus experience on the cross; the hostility and the pain. But the cruelty of the crucifixion is what resulted in the magnificence of the resurrection. “The worst that men could do became the occasion for the unbelievable best that God can do.”

“On the cross, Lord Jesus, you gathered all the hostility and suffering of the world (all my hostility and suffering) and made of it a mighty act of salvation and deliverance. Praise your great name! Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Are You Ready to Be Offered?”

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
2 Timothy 4:6

The readiness to be offered is “a transaction of the will, not of sentiment.” I need to tell God that I am ready to be offered, “then let the consequences be what they may.” And when God puts me through the crisis, it will be in private; no man will be able to help me go through it.

Being offered means going through the fire, “burning and purification and insulation for one purpose only, the destruction of every affinity that God has not started and of every attachment that is not an attachment in God. You do not destroy it, God does.” This is frightening, is it not? Is this why so many of us hold back, in our will?

“Tell God you are ready to be offered, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.”

Father, I want to be able to tell you that I am ready to be offered, to go through this burning and purification, destroying every affection within me that is not for you. I want to, but it scares me, if I’m being honest. Move me with your Spirit. Take away those affections, that my total life might be about you and your glory.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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