“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke
The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is rib-tickling, which means, “very amusing; funny or hilarious: a book of rib-tickling stories.”
Today is Let It Go Day. I like this one. “Let It Go Day is the perfect occasion to stop wasting your energy on negative feelings from the past and instead focus on building yourself a positive future.” Are you holding on to something that is unhealthy for you? Just let it go. I know . . . it’s not that easy.
We wound up not having Anchor last night. Too many people were pulled in too many different directions. Some were on vacation, and some just couldn’t be there for whatever reasons, and I’m not questioning or judging those reasons. (See yesterday’s reading.) I waited at the host home for ten or fifteen minutes, just to be sure no one was coming, and then headed on back home. The sad thing was that S decided she wanted to come with us, last night.
The Rangers got a win, last night, to split the two game series with the Reds. They are off tonight, and begin a series with the Red Sox tomorrow. I’m not hopeful about the Red Sox winning any of those games. They have lost three consecutive games, and are 3-7 in their last ten. Not sure what’s going on. Last night, they were ahead 6-4 going into the eighth inning, and wound up losing 8-6. They are two games behind the Orioles, now, but the Boo Jays are only a half game behind them.
Today is Thursday, or “pre-Friday.” Not much else to say about it.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.
Sometimes, Peterson is so eloquent that I dare not paraphrase his words.
“The great attributes of God (steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, peace), thinned by our faint imaginations into bloodless abstractions, are given personal vitality by acts of God: ‘And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory . . . full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14).”
“I want, O God, every truth you announce to become an experience in which I am conscious of meeting another in love and touching another in compassion, even as you met and touched so many in Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.”
This is so in line with what I am experiencing in my life, right now. I had an experience yesterday that I must recount. I was getting aggravated at just about everything (big surprise, right?). Then I was getting discouraged about how it seemed that no one at our church cares about prayer. But at some point, I made myself begin to apply the words and teachings that I have been reading over the past couple of months, of Dallas Willard, John Ortberg, and Richard Foster. I began to consider the fact that I am perpetually walking in the presence of Jesus Christ. Well, technically, the Holy Spirit, I realized later, because Jesus Christ is still in bodily form, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Nevertheless, in whatever incarnation you want to consider, I am constantly in the presence of God. He surrounds me.
Sure, I know with my mind that God is always here. I truly believe the words of Scripture on that. But yesterday, I began to make myself experience that presence. Of course, I have experienced God’s presence before. But what if I walk in that daily? What if I make myself remember, every minute of every day, that the presence of God is with me, around me, in me, in the person of the Holy Spirit? I tell you it made a huge difference yesterday! I began to realize that I don’t need to worry about how many people care about prayer. That’s God’s work, not mine! This is why the yoke of Christ is easy!
The aggravations melted away; the discouragement dissipated. I even felt better, physically! He spoke peace to me!
Father, I thank you for speaking peace to me, yesterday! I ask you to speak the same peace to me, today. I need your peace in my life, constantly. I pray for your Holy Spirit to make himself known to me all day today. Let me walk in the knowledge of your presence throughout this day, that I may experience it fully. Let aggravations cease; let discouragement run away. May your steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace not be thinned by my faint imagination. Sanctify my imagination, so that it can run in the path of your commands.
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.