The Mark of True Friendship

“I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.” – Fred Allen
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is olykoek, which means, apparently, doughnut. Or donut. However you choose to spell it.

And that word of the day is totally appropriate, as today is Doughnut Day. I bet Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts will be busy today.

We spent all afternoon at the funeral home, yesterday. The family met there at 1:00 PM, and went through the process of making the arrangements for C’s mother’s funeral. The funeral is set for 1:30 PM on Monday, June 6. The visitation will take place Sunday afternoon, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. We chose an earlier time in case anyone wanted to get to a church service Sunday evening. It took several hours to go over everything. It is taking place at Greenwood Memorial Park on White Settlement Road, in Fort Worth. They already had everything pre-paid for a mausoleum burial. We got to go over and see the place after the meeting, and it is very nice.

We plan to go back over to C’s step-dad’s place this afternoon, and make sure we have the music and other things down for the funeral. Other than that, there isn’t much planned for today. To be hones, C needs the time to rest and recuperate from the cold she has had. Her doctor phoned in some meds for her yesterday, so hopefully that will help.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

Psalm 73:21-28

As the psalmist concludes this psalm, he moves back to sincere faith. He has gone from faith to doubt back to faith. And when he arrives at the final portion, he sees that his doubt was “brutish and ignorant.” He realizes, at this point, that God never left his side. One of my favorite parts is verses 25 and 26. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I long to be at the place of verse 25.

“‘In sweet communion, Lord, with Thee I constantly abide; my hand Thou holdest in Thy own to keep me near Thy side. . . . Whom have I, Lord, in heaven but Thee, to whom my thoughts aspire? And, having Thee, on earth is nought that I can yet desire’ (‘In Sweet Communion, Lord, with Thee,’ The Psalter, 1912). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The Secret of the Lord

The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him.
Psalm 25:14

What is the sign of a true friend? Is it that he tells you his “secret sorrows?” No, rather, the true friend, in the deepest intimacy, will share with you his secret joys. “Many will confide to you their secret sorrows, but the last mark of intimacy is to confide secret joys.” Have we ever allowed God to share his joys with us, or are we too busy telling him our own “secrets,” leaving him no room to talk to us at all?

In the model prayer, Jesus gives us these words: “Your will be done.” Are we so caught up in that prayer that we “catch the secrets of God?” There is a progression of spirituality in the life. “At first we want the consciousness of being guided by God; then as we go on we live so much in the consciousness of God that we do not need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing any other will never occurs to us.”

That last bit always amazes me, as I have never gotten anywhere close to that state, spiritually. I’m not even sure I know anyone who has. Maybe one or two possibilities. My heart’s deepest desire is to get to that place, but my flesh battles hard against it.

Father, I pray for my life to be such that I don’t need to ask your will, but that “the thought of choosing any other will never occurs” to me. May your Spirit guide me to this place as I explore spiritual formation and the spiritual disciplines. I need more of you in my life, Father. I pray for the life of Christ to be embedded deep in my nature.

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.

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