That At the Name of Jesus

“Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.”~~Walter Winchell
(BrainyQuote)
This, by the way, is how I would define marriage. I believe it is the kind of marriage that Christi and I have had for going on thirty-one years, now.

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is abstemious, “sparing or moderate in eating and drinking; temperate in diet.” Unfortunately, I have not been able to accomplish this trait.

Today is Love Your Pet Day. At our house, we do that every day. But maybe today, we’ll get them a special treat. Yes, I said “them.” Don’t ask.

I got off work at 3:30 yesterday!! I know, right? We had all the receiving finished, my work queue was empty, so the manager said we could go home early. On a Friday!! It was glorious. Christi had left early for a mammogram appointment (everything was fine, she was told), so I called in an order at O.C. Burger, and she picked it up on her way home. We were eating dinner and watching TV shows before 6:00PM. Unheard of!

Today is the day we make the big switch from ATT/DirecTV to Charter. The installer is supposed to be here between 1 and 2 this afternoon. One thing I need to do before he (why do I assume it’s “he?”) arrives is to go through the shows that we record and make a list so that we don’t forget any with the new system. I just hope everything works the way it’s supposed to.

I think Rachel and Justin are supposed to come over this evening to eat and hang out. That’s always fun. Other than that, we don’t have a lot planned today.

There are 44 days, 2 hours, and 58 minutes until Opening Day of baseball season.

On this date in 2003, a fire broke out in a Rhode Island nightclub, killing 100 people and injuring almost 200 more. The fire was started by an unapproved pyrotechnic display put on by the band Great White. You can read the store at History.com.

Today’s birthdays include

1902–Ansel Adams, American photographer
1906–Gale Gordon, American TV and radio actor, Mr. Mooney on The Lucy Show
1924–Gloria Vanderbilt, American clothing designer
1925–Robert Altman, American film director, Mash
1926–Richard Matheson, American author, I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come
1927–Sidney Poitier, American actor, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, A Patch of Blue
1929–Amanda Blake, American actress, Gunsmoke
1934–Bobby Unser, American racing driver
1936–Larry Hovis, American singer/actor, Sgt. Carter on Hogan’s Heroes
1941–Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer
1946–J. Geils, American guitarist, J. Geils Band
1946–Sandy Duncan, American singer and actress
1948–Jennifer O’Neill, Brazilian-born actress, Summer of ’42
1950–Walter Becker, American guitarist, Steely Dan
1951–Randy California, American guitarist, Spirit
1951–Edward Albert, American actor, Butterflies Are Free
1954–Patty Hearst, American socialite
1960–Joel Hodgson, American comedian, Mystery Science Theater 3000
1963–Charles Barkley, American basketball player
1966–Cindy Crawford, American model
1967–Lili Taylor, American actress, The Conjuring, The Haunting, Mystic Pizza
1967–Kath Soucie, American voice actress, Rugrats, Dexter’s Laboratory
1967–Kurt Cobain, American musician, Nirvana
1978–Lauren Ambrose, American actress, Six Feet Under
1983–Justin Verlander, American baseball player

Randy California was a guitarist, singer, and original member of the rock group Spirit. He was born on this date in 1951, and passed away in 1997. Here is their song, “I Got A Line On You.”

William Wallace Lincoln, P.G.T. Beauregard, Frederick Douglass, Max Schreck, Percy Grainger, Chester Nimitz, Walter Winchell, Kathryn Kuhlman, Dick York, Ferruccio Lamborghini, Burt Lancaster, Gene Siskel, Ty Longley (oh, the irony), Hunter S. Thompson, Sandra Dee, and Curt Gowdy are among notable deaths on this date.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29:5-11

David the psalmist uses metaphors of thunder, lightning, earthquake, and storm, some of the most powerful forces in nature, to describe God’s word: “in such a way the world of nature becomes a parable of the world of grace.”

“God, your commanding voice in Jesus stilled storms on Galilee and quieted hurricane fears in disciples’ hearts. Now train me in trust so that I may put aside my timidity and embrace your might word with robust faith. Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

In today’s reading, Jeff Japinga writes of an encounter that changed his way of thinking about service. He has a friend who is a pastor of a small church in Brooklyn. The membership is around fifty people, but on evenings when they serve up a hot meal to homeless people, over two hundred might show up.

Jeff was on hand one day when a local food-surplus organization delivered three tons of fresh green beans to the church. Three tons. Can you even imagine how many green beans that is?? Jeff is 6’5″ and says that the stacks towered over him. As volunteers came and went, cooking for the night’s dinner and bagging fresh green beans, Jeff found himself next to an actor “who, in a few hours, would be performing his role in a Broadway play.” Jeff inquired as to how it felt taking bows at the end of a play with all of the applause. “‘Actually, I get more satisfaction from working here,’ he said, ‘because it’s not about people saying thank you to me for something I’ve done. It’s about me saying thank You to God through what I’m doing. that’s what gives me the deepest satisfaction.'”

Jeff has adjusted his thinking because of this encounter. It is not about doing good deeds and being recognized for them. “It’s about intentionally asking how I might use part of my skill that day to say thank You to God.”

It takes great humility to serve in this way, but I have come to believe that it is the best way. I always cringe when we applaud people for their works of service. This is not why we should be serving, not for men’s applause. Consider what Paul says about Jesus Christ in the famous hymn from Philippians 2.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11

Father, continue to teach me this humility. Let the offering of my “good works” to you be enough. I don’t need the recognition or applause of men. Let my heart be such that everything I do, I do for you in humility and grace. And never, ever let me fall into thinking that I am repaying you for the infinite grace that you have lavished on me.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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