Watch the Dog

“In times of storm and tempest, of indecision and desolation, a book already known and loved makes better reading than something new and untried … nothing is so warming and companionable.” ― Elizabeth Goudge
(Goodreads)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is alfresco, which means, “out-of-doors; in the open air.” It is usually used in conjunction with “dine.”

Today is Pig In A Blanket Day. Whether they be wrapped in bacon, pastry, or pancakes (which I suppose might count as pastry, as well), they are little bites of deliciousness!

The concert went pretty well, I believe. It was a lot of music, though, and most of us trombones felt like our chops were spent before it was over. We managed to make it through the end, though. Good times. Monday night, we begin preparing for the July 3rd concert, but I will not be there. Christi is leaving Tuesday morning for the USBC convention in Las Vegas, and will be gone until late Friday night, so we want to spend Monday evening together.

We are getting ready to attend our worship gathering, this morning. I will be playing keys again. Our pastor is out of town, so a substitute will be preaching. That’s always interesting. We meet at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N Beach St., in Fort Worth, TX.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.
We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng.
Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.
But I call to God, and the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.
God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah. because they do not change and do not fear God.
My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant.
His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
But you, O God, will cast them down into the pit of destruction; men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you.

Psalm 55:12-23

The Psalmist’s best friend has betrayed him, but he still finds victory in his troubles. His trust is utterly in God, which gives him freedom from oppression. This is something that we can learn from Jesus.

“Dear God, when I feel betrayed and oppressed, instead of wildly casting about for a way out, lead me into your presence where I can cast my burdens on you and find the peace and renewal I need; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
1 John 2:24

In today’s reading, Stephanie Thompson relates how she gained a better understanding of the word “abide,” which is the theme of Guideposts this year, as well as the them for my devotional year.

She was pet-sitting for a friend, with a Boston Terrier named “Cinderella.” She threatened to rename the dog “Shadow,” as Cinderella would follow in her footsteps, wherever she went. The dog would sit in the chair next to Stephanie as she ate lunch, and get as near to her as possible, when she sat on the couch.

“The day before her owner returned, I was reading. Cinderella jumped into my lap and then climbed onto the arm of the chair. Pretending to ignore her, I watched as sh gingerly put her front paws on my shoulder and leaned her head close to my neck. She rested her face against my cheek, sighed contentedly, and closed her eyes.”

Is that not a perfect picture of how we should seek to abide in Christ? I have often thought of the way dogs seek to get as close to their owners’ face as possible. That is exactly how we should seek the face of God; exactly how we should abide.

Father, my abiding has not been good, lately. Teach me this example from a dog, that I should desire to always be as close to your face as possible.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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