“We all have a Monster within; the difference is in degree, not in kind.” ― Douglas Preston, The Monster of Florence
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is inspissate. Yes, I know what it looks like, but it has nothing to do with bodily functions. It means, “to thicken, as by evaporation; make or become dense.” “Spells were directed at the portrait and hand drums were beaten, scents of noxious herbs alight arose to inspissate the air beneath the hanging image.” – Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers, 1980
Today is Pizza Party Day. That would be fun, indeed, as pizza is one of my top favorite foods.
We are getting free lunch, at work, today, but it won’t be pizza, this time. It looks like we are going to have Philly sandwiches from a local restaurant. There may be a possibility of Torchy’s Tacos. The thing is, our boss lets us decide what we want, and nobody really knows much about what is around there. I voted for Twisted Root, which has amazing burgers, but nobody else even knew about that, and I was the last one to vote. Every one else voted for the Philly sandwiches. I like those, too, so it will be okay. But it won’t be a pizza party.
There was no baseball last night. Okay, that statement is not entirely true. But the Red Sox and the Rangers both had the day off, so there was no baseball that mattered last night. To me, at least.
We are going to a Night of Worship, tomorrow night. It will be at a friend’s house. A number of people from The Exchange will be there, but it’s not an Exchange-sponsored thing. Or maybe it is, but I don’t think it originated that way. Our friend and his wife just decided they wanted to do this at their house. It could turn out to be a great thing. We are praying toward that result, at least.
We are also having a PAT (Pastoral Assist Team) meeting on Sunday, after church.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.
There are two things on which we need to be focused when we pray. “That our need is desperate, and that the remedy lies in God.” In this way, our need and God’s will are joined.
“Keep me always conscious, Father, of my need and your salvation, of the perils of sin and the mercies of deliverance, of my empty hands and your bountiful grace, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
The Realm of the Real
By your endurance you will gain your lives.
The KJV says, In your patience possess ye your souls. Jesus is speaking, in Luke 21, of the kind of life his disciples can expect. Too many Christians are satisfied to “stay at the threshold of the Christian life instead of going on to construct a soul in accordance with the new life God has put within.” We have to move on, to “form the mind of Christ.” This takes work on our part. Once again, we have made reference, previously, that there are things that God will do that we cannot do (grace), and there are things that we must do that God will not do for us. “We fail because we are ignorant of the way we are made, we put things down to the devil instead of our own undisciplined natures.” How true is this? “The devil made me do it,” declared a famous TV persona of days gone by. No. The devil did not make me do it. I allowed my own undisciplined nature to rule. It’s “nobody’s fault but mine.”
Some things, we cannot eliminate by prayer. Moods, for example. “Moods never go by praying, moods go by kicking.” I love that statement. I can so identify with it. I am a moody person. I get in these moods, at times, that have even caused me to wonder if I am bi-polar. But, truthfully, we can control our moods. Well, most of us can. I do agree that there are people who legitimately struggle with these things. “it is a continual effort not to listen to the moods with arise from a physical condition; never submit to them for a second.” If we rouse ourselves, shake ourselves, we will find that we can do what we thought we couldn’t. “The curse with most of us is that we won’t.
Father, give me this “spiritual pluck” that Chambers speaks of. Help me to kick those moods out, when they threaten me. May your Spirit keep me strengthened against allowing my undisciplined nature to take over. In fact, I pray that, going forward, this undisciplined nature become disciplined. That is my goal, to really focus on the disciplines, the spiritual formation, until new, “holy” habits are formed that shove out the old “unholy” habits.
Come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.