The Initiative

“The past was always there, lived inside of you, and it helped to make you who you were. But it had to be placed in perspective. The past could not dominate the future.” ― Barbara Taylor Bradford, Unexpected Blessings
(Goodreads)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is cunctator, which means, “a procrastinator; delayer.”

Today, right on the heels (no pun intended) of No Socks Day, and Lost Sock Memorial Day, is One Day Without Shoes Day. Created by Tom’s Shoes, this day is supposed to make us think about the number of people in the world who go without basic necessities. Unfortunately, since it is a work day, I must wear shoes today. I’m not, at the moment, and you can be sure they will be ditched as soon as I get home. Just like my pants.

Yesterday was an okay day. I felt really tired, going into band practice, last night, then I synced my Fitbit band and realized that I had gotten over 13,000 steps. No wonder I was tired. That’s around 3,000 more than my average day. I’m not sure why, but I guess I walked a bit more than usual at work, since that’s where the majority of my steps come from.

Band practice went well. We are preparing for our July 3 concert, and it looks like we’ll have a good program. There will be some patriotic music, along with some show tunes. It looks like we will be repeating the medley from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, along with music from Wicked and the newest Star Wars movie.

Today is Tuesday. The Rangers dropped another game to the Other Sox last night, who are pretty tough this year. They tied the game twice, but couldn’t hold on, losing in the twelfth inning. They are 1.5 games behind Seattle. The Red Sox spanked the A’s, 14-7, with a 6-run fourth inning, and a grand salami by JBJ in the sixth. Baltimore won, as well, though, so they are still a half game out. The Rangers play the Other Sox again tonight, and the Red Sox continue their series against the A’s.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Psalm 67

When God sends us blessings, he is not trying to bribe us to serve him (and we dare not hold them over his head as such, either). “They are experiences that people have when God saves them. The person immersed in God’s salvation finds life overflowing with the blessings of God’s creation.”

“‘Lord, bless and pity us, shine on us with Thy face, that all the earth Thy way may know and men may see Thy grace. Thy praise, O gracious God, let all the nations sing; let all men worship Thee with joy and songs of gladness bring’ (‘Lord, Bless and Pity Us,’ The Psalter, 1912). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“Take the Initiative”

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
2 Peter 1:5

“‘Add’ means there is something we have to do.” (The KJV uses the word “add” where the ESV says “supplement,” which is still an action verb.) “We are danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.” I have recently learned a good definition of grace, which is God working in us to do what we cannot do for ourselves. So things like salvation and sanctification are grace. But God will not give me good habits; he will not give me the character that I must work out for myself. I have to work out my salvation (not work FOR it, but work it out). “‘Add’ means to get into the habit of doing things,” and we must take the initiative.

Chambers doesn’t mention this, but what he is talking about is the same thing Dallas Willard speaks of when he talks about spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is how we fix our various “parts” (mind, soul, body, and spirit) and develop good habits.

“Beware of the tendency of asking the way when you know it perfectly well.” Seriously, how many times have I done this? “Lord, please show me how to stop this,” or, “Lord, please show me how to do that?” I know full well the answer to both of those! I just need to do it! “Just do it!” But it never seems that easy, does it? We are too easily distracted. “We are far too easily pleased,” says C.S. Lewis.

Father, I know what I need to do, so I won’t ask you how. I know what I need to not do, so I won’t ask you how. What I will ask for is the inspiration and motivation of the Holy Spirit to enable me. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Show me your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor with you. Teach me to abide, that I may bear fruit.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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