Focus On the Sovereign Source

“Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.”

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Today is Tuesday, September 6, 2016. 38 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean

Word of the Day

Will-o’-the-wisp – a light that appears at night over marshy ground. Also, a misleading or elusive goal or hope.

Today is Read A Book Day. When it comes to “holidays,” books are like chocolate. If the word is in the day, I’m going to choose that one. But seriously . . . read a book today. It doesn’t have to be a paper book. It can be a Kindle book (or other e-reader). Just read. What am I currently reading? The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy.

We didn’t do much of anything yesterday. The steaks and mashed potatoes were delicious. We watched the other Redbox movie that we rented, Joy. Let me tell you, there wasn’t much “joy” in it. I’m not sure what I expected, but it was mostly depressing. As always, it was enjoyable watching Jennifer Lawrence and Bradly Cooper. But Joy’s parents were horrible. Her mother was flat-out crazy (played by Virginia Madsen, who also plays a crazy woman on American Gothic), and her father was a manipulative you-know-what, encouraged by his lady-friend, played by Isabella Rossellini. Anyway . . . while the ending was satisfactory, the majority of the movie was depressing. If that was supposed to be inspirational, it failed for me.

Today, after work, I will be driving to Mineral Wells to pick up my mother. Then I will be taking her to her cataract surgery appointment tomorrow morning. C will take her for the follow-up visit on Thursday morning. Hopefully, this one goes as smoothly as the first one did.

We made a decision, yesterday, to rent a van for our Galveston trip. It will be more comfortable for the trip down there (four of us will be riding on that trip), and then, if R & J are able to join us, if we want to all go somewhere, for example, into town for a meal, we can all ride together. We had been kicking this idea around for a week or so, and it was either rent a van or buy one of those thingies that you strap on top of your car for extra luggage space. For some reason, I just wasn’t comfortable with that idea.

The Red Sox and Rangers both lost again, yesterday. Rangers got pummeled by the Mariners, 14-6. This was Cole Hamels’s second bad outing, which makes me worry that there is something wrong with him. The Astros won, so the Rangers are now 8.5 games ahead of them. The Sox lost to the Padres, one of the worst teams in the NL, 2-1. Fortunately, the Boo Jays lost, as well, so the Sox are still only one game out of first place. Elimination numbers are now being displayed. Minnesota is already eliminated in the AL, and Oakland is only 2 away from elimination. That means if they lose and Texas wins in the same day, they will be eliminated. In the NL, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati are already eliminated. In their defense, Milwaukee and Cincinnati are in the same division as the Cubs, who are 41 games over .500.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin!
May his days be few; may another take his office!
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow!
May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children!
May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!
For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death.
He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him!
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones!
May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day!
Psalm 109:6-19

If you ever wonder if it’s okay to pray for curses on your “enemies,” read Psalm 109. There’s no indication that David’s desires were actually carried out, but the point is, he ranted to God, rather than someone else. It is much more healthy for us to go to God with our feelings about others than to carry on with another person. This generally turns into what we know as “gossip,” which is condemned by Scripture.

But if we examine the person David is referring to, we can see that, if we choose to live a life of cursing or oppressing, that will be what we are known for, ultimately. “Our words and our acts create conditions in which we ourselves must live.” When we choose to live in this way, unrepentant, and, therefore, unforgiven, “we live with the curses and pitiless actions which we set loose in the world.”

“God, teach me the pure speech of praise and the exalted speech of blessing. Help me to avoid blasphemous and complaining words as readily as I resist diseased and contaminated objects. May my ‘speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,’ so that I may bring glory to your name (Colossians 4:6). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:38

In today’s reading, Diffusiveness of Life, Chambers addresses the idea of obstacles that get in our path to seeking Jesus. The analogy is a river, which meets an obstacle in its path, and eventually either works its way around the obstacle, through the obstacle, or sometimes, even under the obstacle. Jesus told us that, if we believe in him, rivers of living water will flow out of our hearts. The thing is, believers are rarely allowed to see what kind of blessing they are to others.

“A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers.” When barriers come into our lives, we sometimes make the mistake of concentrating on the obstacles. But if we pay attention to our Source, “God will either take you round the obstacle or remove it.” We must never get our eyes on the difficulty, but keep them on our Source.

“Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.”

Father, help me keep my eyes, my focus, on my Sovereign Source! Let me not focus on any difficulties that threaten my journey. Rather let me focus on Christ alone.

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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