Praying or Dictating?

Today is Monday, August 8. 11 more days until S turns 23!

Quote of the Day

“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.” – Marcus Aurelius

Word of the Day

Presentiment – a feeling or impression that something is about to happen, especially something evil; foreboding.

Today is Bowling Day! We love bowling! C and I met in a bowling league. And now she works for the rulers of bowling, USBC (United States Bowling Congress).

Today is also International Cat Day. I don’t normally do two “holidays,” but how can I choose between bowling and cats?? I love cats. If I could only have a cat or a dog (we have both in our house), I would certainly choose the cat.

I’ll share a bit of trivia. It was on this date in 1988 that lights first appeared at Wrigley Field, allowing the Cubs to finally join the rest of the baseball world by playing night games. What I didn’t know until this morning was that Phil Wrigley had purchased lights and scheduled them to be installed at the field in 1942. He wound up donating them to the war effort. And so it would be another 46 years.

I feel much better today. Still not 100% right, but much better. We had a good worship gathering, yesterday morning, and I feel like I played well. The music sounded pretty good, over all. Jacob’s message was, as usual, thought provoking and stirring. Much to think about, going forward. And lately, I really like that. I like to have good stuff to “chew on,” as I make my drive to work in the morning.

R & J came over for lunch, which was steaks and mashed potatoes, prepared by C. I was recovered enough from whatever was wrong with me Saturday night to thoroughly enjoy the lunch. It was absolutely delicious! After lunch, we played Cards Against Humanity for a few hours, chatted for a bit, then called in some dinner from Tony’s Pasta and Pizza. Then we talked some more, which got really depressing, because R is having a hard go of it right now. I won’t share details, but if you happen to be one who prays, please lift one up for her, just that some things will fall into place that don’t seem to be currently coming together for her.

It’s back to work, this morning, and then band practice tonight. Long day for me, and I will be tired tomorrow morning. But being able to play my trombone in a band is quite fulfilling.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!
Psalm 104:31-35

As believers in Jesus, we are in a unique position to realize the impact that creation has in our lives. We live in a world “made and maintained by the Creator God.” I challenge you to just look at creation on a daily basis. Things that we drive by every day can take on a whole new meaning when we examine them in this light.

The final words of this psalm are also the first words, “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” At the end, the psalmist adds the “hallelu Yah!” This two word phrase translates to “Praise the Lord,” and is almost exclusively used in Psalms, the first time being in Psalm 104.

“Great and eternal God: I immerse myself in your creation gradually beginning to comprehend the inventive attention you bring to each detail – and then realize that I am one of the details! Hallelujah! Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Prayer in the Father’s Honour

. . . therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. Luke 1:35

“If the Son of God is born into my mortal flesh, is His holy innocence and simplicity and oneness with the Father getting a chance to manifest itself in me?” It is a direct act of God by which Jesus Christ is born in me, and I have to exercise “the right of a child, the right of being always face to face with my Father.”

Am I allowing this realization, this identifying with the Spirit of Christ, or am I quietly and carefully placing him off to the side? In our world today, people are clamoring for the death of God, either directly, or by simply ignoring him altogether. “There is no room here for the Son of God just now, no room for quiet holy communion with the Father.” And here is an interesting question: “Is the Son of God praying in me or am I dictating to Him?”

I need to make room for Jesus. I need to allow the simplicity, solitude, and oneness of Jesus to be born in me, to live in me, to fill me, and to direct me.

Father, I keep praying along these lines, and will continue to do so. I need this life to be realized in me. I need the simplicity and other disciplines that we see in Jesus Christ to become a standard part of my life, that I might, as much as is possible in this world, live the way Jesus lived. Help me to study his life, along with the writings of Paul, to see these characters lived out, and to inspire me to do the same.

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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