Stamped With the Presence of God

Today is Tuesday, August 23, 2016. 52 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain

Word of the Day

Venial – able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong, as a sin (opposed to mortal).

Today is Cuban Sandwich Day. (The country, not Mark.) It sounds delicious, but I’ve never had one. I did have a really good sandwich at McAlister’s Deli, last night, though, called the “Memphian.” Black Forest ham, turkey, roast beef, Provolone, lettuce, tomato, lite mayo, and Dijon mustard on a hot baguette. Delicious!

The big news, this morning, is that R finally got her LPC license! (That stands for Licensed Professional Counselor.) It’s an “intern” license, but all that now stands between her and her career is a period of internship. We are just all tremendously excited that her license finally came through. It is has been a tough process (and quite frustrating) for her, but she persevered and made it!

The Red Sox beat the Rays 6-2 last night, which launched them into a tie for first place with the Boo Jays, since Toronto didn’t play last night. September is going to be really exciting in the AL East!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

They did not destroy the peoples, as the LORD commanded them,
but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did.
They served their idols, which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons;
they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds.
Psalm 106:34-39

As this psalm continues (I struggle to think of this as a “song” being sung by a group of people, but that is what the Psalms allegedly were), we continue to be warned by the failures of Israel. What should have been victories and triumphs became “defections and compromises; instead of sharing faith in a holy God, Israel adopted the savage rites of child sacrifice.” Instead of a land flowing “with milk and honey,” it became a land of disobedience flowing “with the blood of innocent children.”

“‘Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore; let the search for Thy salvation be our glory evermore. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving Thee whom we adore’ (Harry Emerson Fosdick, ‘God of Grace and God of Glory’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Prayer Choice and Prayer Conflict

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

This is one of the best of all of the readings in this book. We must understand that prayer “is an effort of the will.” Once we get into our “secret place,” the most difficult thing to do is pray. As soon as we shut the door, the wandering thoughts begin. Those of you who are regular pray-ers, tell me if I’m wrong. I know it has definitely been my experience. There are mornings that the hardest thing in the world to do is pray, because as soon as I start, all of the emotions and thoughts start flooding in. I even start remembering emotional moments from decades in the past! “We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful prayer.”

To be in a “secret silence” means that we have to shut the door on these emotions “remember God.” When we abide in this “secret place,” our confidence in God grows tremendously. “We become more sure of Him than of anything else.” We should begin our day by letting God in, and then “get into the habit of dealing with God about everything.” When these things happen, every event of our lives will be “stamped with the presence of God.”

Father, as I pray this morning, help me to be focused. Help me to shut the door in my “secret place” and close out all negative emotions (even positive ones that would distract me from prayer) and thoughts that would hinder me. Help me to remember you. I also pray that I might be successful in dealing with you about everything in my day. Be the center of my day, Father, and help me to walk in your Kingdom, sharing the easy yoke with Jesus.

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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