“Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.”~~Henry Fielding
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is interstitial, which means “pertaining to, situated in, or forming small or narrow spaces or intervals between things or parts.”
Today is Get Out Your Guitar Day. Hmm . . . perhaps someone is trying to tell me something.
Well, it’s Thursday morning, and my mother is up, looking good, and feeling good! She says there is very little pain, and, so far, has only taken one of the hydrocodone/Tylenol pills they prescribed. Stephanie and I will be heading back to Fort Worth sometime this afternoon/evening. My mother thinks she will be okay to be alone tonight, but Christi is on “standby,” ready to come out this evening, if necessary.
One of Mama’s good friends brought us breakfast this morning! That was very kind. Rachel and Justin are coming out later, as well, to visit for a little bit. We’ll probably have lunch with them.
I don’t know much else.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.
Whenever Christians gather to seek the Lord’s face, to worship him together, we are, in a sense, lifting up those gates, “that the King of glory may come in.” “The church at worship, with heads lifted up in expectation, is at the summit of earth’s fullness.”
“Almighty God, when I next assemble with fellow Christians in worship, grant that I may not be so taken with my own plans and anxieties that I miss the proclamation of your presence at the gates and your entrance into our midst as the King of Glory. Amen.”
(From Daily Guideposts 2016)
The LORD is my strength and my song . . .
Today’s writer, Elizabeth Sherrill, tells the tale of an ancient saint at Whitby Abbey, in North Yorkshire, named Caedmon. The Abbey was the first Christian settlement in the area, founded by Saint Hilda, in 657. However, it is not Saint Hilda that fascinates Elizabeth, it is a “humble cowherd who labored on the abbey’s farm.”
Caedmon could not read or write, but this was not unusual for most people. In those days, it was normally only the monks and nuns who could do so. The sole source of entertainment for the farm workers was usually the evening singing contest. Caedmon, however, was terrified of the contest, and the thought of the harp that was passed around each evening. He would go hide among the cows during the contest.
One night, as he lay among the animals, a “bright figure appeared in the dark stable.” It said, “Sing to me!” Caedmon protested, stating that he could not sing, and he was hiding so they wouldn’t ask him to.
Sing, Caedmon. Sing about creation!
And out of his mouth “poured a glorious poem in praise of God the Creator.”
He awoke, thinking that this was merely a dream. However, he vividly remembered every word of the poem/song. He immediately rushed out and began sharing it with the other farmhands and the farm manager, who took him to Abbess Hilda. She was so taken by the beauty of this harm hand’s song that she began having monks translate Scripture passages for him, which he turned into eloquent songs. “For the rest of his life, the first-known English-language poet lived at the abbey, creating hymns that carried the good news across the land.”
Here is a modern translation of Caedmon’s original hymn:
“Now [we] must honour the guardian of heaven,
the might of the architect, and his purpose,
the work of the father of glory[b]
as he, the eternal lord, established the beginning of wonders;
he first created for the children of men[c]
heaven as a roof, the holy creator
Then the guardian of mankind,
the eternal lord, afterwards appointed the middle earth,
the lands for men,[d] the Lord almighty.” (via Wikipedia)
“For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.”
2 Samuel 22:50
So you might wonder what the title of today’s entry has to do with any of this. As I struggle through the emotions of the last several weeks, I feel so undeserving of God’s goodness. I feel like such an unfaithful servant. Therefore, the beginning lines of “Forever Reign” have been especially meaningful to me, just as the MercyMe anthem, “Flawless.” I recognize the goodness of the Lord, and I recognize my extreme unworthiness. I won’t try to compete with Paul to be “chief of sinners.” However, I am well aware of my shortcomings, as I try to serve the Lord. At the same time, I am learning to give up this whole idea of trying to serve him, to allow his grace to flow over, into, and through me, recognizing that, while I will not be perfect in this life, nevertheless, his cross has, indeed, made me “Flawless.” Because he is good when there is nothing good in me, which is always. Even my “good works,” my “righteousness” is as filthy rags in comparison to the great grace that Christ has demonstrated on the cross. I will never be worthy. But I am flawless because he has made me thus.
Father, I thank you for the gift of grace. I thank you for the cross. I thank you that you are always good. And I thank you for the gift of music and singing. May I not forsake the gifts you have given me. I pray that you might bring me opportunities to refine and use those gifts once again.
I pray for our pastor’s dad, Greg. We pray that you would bring healing to his body, Lord!
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.