“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is Beltane, “the Celtic May Day festival.”
Besides being May Day, today is also Lei Day. Leis are traditionally Hawaiian, each island having its own, made with flowers, fruits, and vines from the island. I can’t help but wonder if its placement on May Day has to do with someone’s clever sense of humor.
We had a nice visit with Rachel and Justin, yesterday evening. We visited for a while, then went and got some dinner at Los Molcajetes. Then, having brought their PS4 over with them, Rachel and Justin showed me a game that they have played (it’s downloaded onto their system, which is why they brought it along), called “Until Dawn.” It’s based on the classic horror movie outline, a bunch of teens/young adults at a mountain lodge with a killer on the loose. The thing that makes it intense is that you have to make snap decisions along the way, each of which can have a drastic effect on the outcome of the scene. It was a lot of fun, and I plan on getting it soon. They offered to leave their PS4 here, so I could keep playing, but I declined, as I have plenty of other things to play, right now, and I wouldn’t want them to do that, anyway. It was very kind and thoughtful of them.
Christi’s throat is hurting her badly, this morning, but she has no fever. She may wind up trying to go to a clinic today, or she may wait until tomorrow and go to her doctor, who is close to where she works.
We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. We are part of The Exchange, and we meet at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA, 9100 N. Beach St., Fort Worth, TX.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah.
For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.
In an apparent contradiction, David appears to be praying for protection from King Saul, while at the same time praying for his health and wholeness. “Prayer that asks for personal help (‘lead me to the rock’) very naturally leads into prayer that intercedes for others (‘prolong the life of the king’).” We should not focus on either self or others exclusively in our prayers, but have a combination of both. If we pray rightly, we get what we need, as well as being a ministry to others.
“I don’t want to become so preoccupied with my own needs that I forget that others need your help too, dear God. And I don’t want to get so concerned about others that I fail to keep my own heart in order before you. Keep me in balance, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
“Insight Not Emotion”
. . . for we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7
“For a time we are conscious of God’s attentions, then, when God begins to use us in His enterprises, we take on a pathetic look and talk of the trials and difficulties, and all the time God is trying to make us do our duty as obscure people.” How many of us would remain “obscure spiritually” if we could help it? This is one of the reasons that I am always uncomfortable calling out people for their work in the Kingdom. We don’t do anything for recognition. It’s one of the dangers of being an “up front” person in the worship setting. You get used to the attention. “Some of us always want to be illuminated saints with golden haloes and the flush of inspiration, and to have the saints of God dealing with us all the time.” Chambers says that this kind of person is “no good, he is abnormal, unfit for daily life, and altogether unlike God.” Harsh words, but true, nevertheless.
Trying to get back to those rare moments of inspiration is a clear sign that it is not God we are seeking. We make a fetish of the moments of inspiration, and even go so far as insisting that God repeat them. We should never live for those rare moments; “they are surprises.” The standard is not the moments of inspiration; the standard is our duty.
Father, I pray that you keep me seeking your face, and not your inspiration. You have brought me a long way in this, as well as not needing attention for the things I do. But it is most important that I see you and not your gifts, inspiration, or benefits.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.