A Friend Loves At All Times

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” ― Abraham Sutzkever
(Goodreads)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is animadversion, which means, “an unfavorable or censorious comment: to make animadversions on someone’s conduct.”

Today is Gummi Worm Day! Yes, I like Gummi Worms. Especially, the sour ones. Well, mostly the sour ones. The non-sour ones are okay, but I really like the sour ones.

I got a little more accomplished in the study last night. I can now see the top of the file cabinet and the turntable that sits on the file cabinet. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I feel good about the progress I have made. I think that tonight, I will try to get some practice in, before it gets late, and then allow myself to chill out in front of the PS4 for a while.

Tomorrow, I’m not sure, yet, what I will do. We are having a Night of Worship at a friend’s house, at 6:00 PM, and I will definitely attend that. Not sure about the rest of the day, though.

C sent me an email last night at 10:26. That’s 9:26 our time. They had just left the bowling center, and were supposed to be back at 6:30 this morning, which was about thirty minutes ago, our time. That’s crazy! I hope she has a chance to get some rest, somewhere during the day. As well as getting something to eat. We really miss her. I did sleep better, last night, though, than I have the other two nights. I could have slept a few hours more, though.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

O LORD, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!
O LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O LORD, and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge—
the LORD—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.
Psalm 94:1-11

Society generally views as cunning, those who get wealthy by playing off of other peoples’ weaknesses and troubles, or who get powerful by “propagating falsehoods.” However, the psalmist tells us what God sees in those people, “not sharpness of mind, but dullness of spirit; not mental dexterity, but more clumsiness.” God sees, even if we don’t think he does. I really like the last part of verse 10, going into verse 11 (that’s a clumsy verse break that was inserted there, I think): “He who teaches man knowledge–the LORD–knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.”

“O God, act in righteous judgment now. Put down the arrogant and lift up the humble. Make me a participant in the working out of your justice among all who are hurt or despised or degraded. In the name of Jesus, who promised to bless the poor in spirit. Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman . . . John 4:27

Daniel Schantz writes of a trip to London with his wife, as they celebrated their fiftieth anniversary. As they traveled around the city, taxi drivers actually took interest in them and why they were there. One of them asked, “What brings you here?”
“We are celebrating our fiftieth anniversary.”
“Quite lovely! Not many couples make it that far. Are you religious then?”
“Yes. We live in Missouri, the heart of the Bible Belt.”
“I’ve always thought there must be a Creator,” said the driver, as he pointed to various trees along the way. “All these beautiful things . . . But then I see how people treat each other and I wonder. You know?”

After giving the driver a generous tip, Daniel found himself treating others that he met with interest, just as this driver had treated him. He had a nice conversation with a waitress at the hotel. “Fascinating people seemed to come out of the woodwork the rest of the day because I was taking an interest in them.” He recalled reading something once, in a book about manners. It said something like, “The most interesting person in the world is the person who is interested in me.”

Jesus took interest in people. Consider the passage from which the above verse is taken. He sat down and engaged in conversation with, not just a woman, but a Samaritan woman! His disciples couldn’t believe their eyes when they came back! But consider also Nicodemus and Zaccheus, the “wee little man” who “climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see.” Jesus paid attention to people. And even though we don’t see it in many artists’ representations, he probably smiled a lot.

Daniel’s prayer at the end of the reading: “It gets lonely down here, Lord. Help me to be everyone’s friend today.”

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” Luke 7:34

Father, I needed this reading today, after the day I had yesterday at work. By the end of the day, yesterday, I wasn’t very friendly toward anyone. I let things get to me. Yes, I got bombarded by a lot of stuff, much of it pointless misunderstandings by people I have to deal with, and even some of it was flat-out ignorance. But that doesn’t make it right for me to get so aggravated at the circumstances when I’m supposed to be walking in your presence. I can’t leave you behind, because I can’t escape from your presence (not that I ever want to). But I certainly allowed myself to forget that you were there, which spiraled into some pretty ugly behavior. I confess this and ask your forgiveness, and I pray for what I have read today to take root and last me the whole day.

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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