“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle
The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is caesura. I normally think of this as a strictly musical term, but it doesn’t have to be. It means, “a break in the flow of sound usually in the middle of a line of verse,” or, “break, interruption,” or, “a pause marking a rhythmic point of division in a melody.” Sometimes, we musicians call it “railroad tracks.” It is usually notated like this:
I will confess that I didn’t know how to spell it before today.
Today is World Snake Day. I don’t see people rushing to join this celebration.
My Week Without Wife continues. Let me tell you, it’s not a celebration. I’m not enjoying this, at all. I’ve had a couple of marginally productive evenings, but last night, being Friday, I just chilled out. Got some baseball and Fallout in on the PS4, then went to bed around midnight. I’ve fiddled around, this morning, got some laundry started, and will probably hit the Kroger store after I finish blogging. We have a Night of Worship at some friends’ house, this evening, at 6:00 PM. In the meantime, S and I will probably go out for lunch, to her favorite Mexican restaurant. I also plan to get some practice in.
Tomorrow, after church and lunch, I also plan to practice some more, and probably finish up the laundry. C comes back Monday night, and we don’t have band practice until August 3. Um . . . August 1? Yeah, that’s it. First Monday in August.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law,
to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the LORD will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it. Psalm 94:12-15
“If God hated us, he would punish us; if he were indifferent to us, he would ignore us. But he loves us.” He expresses his love, among other ways, by discipline, training us to walk the path we should walk. This discipline, or chastening, is done in a loving manner, and should never be seen as punishment. Jesus took the punishment of our sins on himself, so we are not being punished for sin. But God will discipline us, shaping “our lives out of evil ways into righteous acts.”
“Father, I receive your words of correction and your acts of discipline. Help me to learn obedience through the things that I suffer, even as Jesus did. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
The Notion of Divine Control
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
In this and the surround chapters, “Jesus is laying down rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit.” The Sermon on the Mount is not just some idealistic philosophy that we can all just look at and say, “nice thoughts, but we really can’t live this way.” In these chapters and verses, Jesus is urging us “to keep our minds filled with the notion of God’s control behind everything, which means that the disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and seek.”
God is there. Once we fill our minds with the notion that this is true, when difficulties arise, and they always do, “it is as easy as breathing to remember.” God is there. He knows all about it. We can never come up with anything that he will forget, so why should we worry?
God is there. “Nothing happens in any particular unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him.”
This is where the disciplines lead us, and this is why we can actually, truly live what Jesus sets down as our code of conduct in the Sermon on the Mount. Don’t misunderstand me, either. I’m not there. I’m not even close. I fail, daily. But I have begun, and I will not stop or give up until I get there.
Father, I trust you. I have confidence that you are in control of all things, and that nothing happens to me outside of your perfect will. Therefore, my trust in you is increased. I have failed, though. I constantly fail to live up to the code that Jesus has given. But I will not stop; I will practice these disciplines for the rest of my life, because I am determined to know you, to find favor with you, and to know your glory.
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.