“They do not love that do not show their love.” – William Shakespeare
(BrainyQuote) Now there’s a quote worth pondering.
The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is terraqueous, meaning, “consisting of land and water, as the earth.”
I’ve got a new one today, that I’ve never heard of. Today is Yarn Bombing Day. Apparently, that means knitting yarn covers for things like trees and signposts. Here’s an example:
Let me tell you about my jury duty experience. It didn’t take me nearly as long to get downtown as I though it would, so I got there with plenty of time to spare, parked with no problem at all (thank you, Waze!), and walked the block to the city court building. I have to say I like the environment at the city court much better than the county court. It is much more laid back. The room is smaller, and there is a single desk at the back of the room where the Jury Coordinator sits. She checked me in, and informed me (after I asked) that their policies on electronic devices has changed, and you can now have your phones on and read e-readers or tablets. I wish they would take down the signs that state the old policy, and change the printing on the jury summons, then. Nice to know for future reference, though. She was a very nice, friendly person, and when she went up front to give us instructions, was always smiling and happy.
We were waiting on the people in the courtroom across the hall to go through their dockets and determine if any would need to go to trial that day. If that happened, they would need only six of us, but we would all go into the courtroom for “Voir Dire.” (She pronounced it exactly like it looks. I have always pronounced that as though it were French.) There were probably only about 18 of us in the room. I never counted.
We were given a break at about 10:05 (we had only been there 35 minutes, officially), and told to be back at 10:30. The Jury Coordinator was still waiting on the court officials. We got back and she gave us more instructions as to what would happen should there be a trial. Shortly after that, maybe between 11:00 and 11:30, the judge and bailiff came across the hall to our room. The judge said he had good news. He said that our presence there had helped them resolve SEVENTY-TWO CASES!! (Suddenly, I was very tired!) We would not be needed for trial. We could all go home (or wherever . . . “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”) We got our certificates (I’ve never received a certificate for jury service before) and parking passes, for those of us who parked in the Convention Center Parking Garage, and went on our merry way. They did not pay us, but they paid for our parking, which, if I read the display correctly, was more than the $8 I usually get for county court.
I was conflicted between being disappointed and happy. It’s interesting to serve on a jury trial, but I had the rest of the day off. On Friday. Bonus! I texted C and told her we were done, and that I was going to get my car inspected and oil changed. To which she replied, “You could come for lunch.” By golly, I COULD! I redirected my Waze to take me to USBC Headquarters and C and I had a nice lunch together at Mixed Up Burgers. Then I went and got the inspection/oil change/car wash. It was a very nice day.
Today, C has gone out to the funeral home to pick up the death certificate (my understanding is that they still have not determined CoD and it could take a while, but they have provided a “temporary?” certificate. Then she is going to pick up her step-dad and take him to the bank to see if they can deal with her mother’s bank account. There will be grocery shopping later, and I’m going over to one of our church members’ house tonight for some guy time. Stretching myself a bit, here, but there will be ping pong, and I do love ping pong. That reminds me. I need to go out to the garage and see if I can find my ping pong paddle.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
The Ephraimites, armed with the bow, turned back on the day of battle.
They did not keep God’s covenant, but refused to walk according to his law.
They forgot his works and the wonders that he had shown them.
In the sight of their fathers he performed wonders in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap.
In the daytime he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a fiery light.
He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
He struck the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread or provide meat for his people?”
Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel,
because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power.
Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven,
and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven.
Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind;
he rained meat on them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas;
he let them fall in the midst of their camp, all around their dwellings.
And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths,
the anger of God rose against them, and he killed the strongest of them and laid low the young men of Israel.
Long passage, short, singular message. “They forgot his works and wonders that he had shown them.” This is one of the most tragic verses in the Bible. As Eugene Peterson says, “History is of no use if we don’t remember it.” The mighty works of God give us neither guidance nor inspiration if we are ignorant of them. This is why it is important to read the Bible, to remember these stories of how God delivered his people over and over again, that we might have trust and hope in God.
“Cure me, Christ, of my amnesia. Put my memory to work in reflecting on all the ways you have saved and blessed. Imprint these memories on my mind so that no trial or pain will arrive unaccompanied by the expectation that you will guard and guide me. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
Come to me
The book stops there. I’m going to quote the rest of the passage along with it.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The title of the reading is “Getting There.” Do we want to “get there?” It is possible, and it is possible now. This is the gospel that Jesus preached. The Kingdom of God is available to you, and it is here, now. You can walk in it now.
There are only a few questions in life that really matter, and they can be all answered by the three words of Jesus that began this passage. “Come to me.” We are not told, “Do this, or don’t do that.” We are simply told, “Come to me.” “If I will come to Jesus my actual life will be brought into accordance with my real desires; I will actually cease from sin, and actually find the song of the Lord begin.”
Have I come to Jesus? Have I seriously? If we observe our own behaviors, we will see that we would almost do anything else than obey this simple childlike command. “Come to me.” We manufacture projects, we do “work for God.” At least we say we are working for God, but are we, really? Because what God has commanded us is in this simple command of Jesus. “Come to me.” Yes. Simple. But we make it harder. “The attitude of coming is that the will resolutely lets go of everything and deliberately commits all to Him.”
The result is in the remainder of the passage. “I will give you rest.” And, the thing that Dallas Willard speaks of, “my yoke is easy.” It’s the yoke of Jesus that is easy, and unless we come to him, we will not experience the “easy yoke,” because we are trying to carry our own yoke. God has never intended for us to carry our own yoke. And if we join Jesus with his “easy yoke,” guess who is doing most of the pulling, if not all of it? His yoke is easy because he is the Son of God. If we come to him, we join him in that yoke, and it is easy for us, too.
The way to walk in the kingdom, according to Willard, the way to abide, is to put the words of Jesus into practice in our daily lives, and find them to be true. Jesus said, in John 8, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We tend to dumb that down a bit, and just say that if you believe in Jesus, “the truth will set you free.” The problem is that we ignore the verse before that phrase, that says, “If you abide in my word.” To abide means to put those words into practice. And what is the “truth?” Jesus is the truth. He said that, himself. In John 14:6, he says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the truth. If we put his words into practice, we will know Jesus (the truth), and Jesus (the truth) will make us free.
Father, these last few weeks have been exciting for me, as I have watched you at work, in my life, as well as in the lives of some of my brothers and sisters. Teach us your way. By your Holy Spirit, help us to put the words of Jesus into practice in our lives, that we may fully know him, and that we may participate in the easy yoke of Jesus Christ. I truly feel as if I am on the verge of something monumental in my life. I beg you . . . do not let me screw this up!
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.