Today is Saturday, November 5, 2016. Remember, remember! The fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot! Three days until Election Day. Five days until our Glen Rose weekend! Seven days until C’s birthday!
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle
Quotidian [kwoh-tid-ee-uh n] adj. – usual or customary; everyday.
I am torn between holidays. On the one hand, today is Love Your Red Hair Day. It has been a long time since my hair could truly be considered “red.” But as you can see in this photo, my hair was, once upon a time, quite red.
I’m actually quite fond of that picture.
The other holiday for today is Gunpowder Day, more commonly known, I believe, as Guy Fawkes Night. I might not have ever heard of this, were it not for one of my favorite movies, V For Vendetta. This “holiday” focuses on the infamous plot by Guy Fawkes to blow up Parliament in 1605.
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder reason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot!
We have our monthly Night of Worship tonight, at a friend’s house. I dropped off my keyboard gear at his house, last night, and will be over there at 4:00 PM to practice and get ready. We plan to intersperse prayer sessions with the worship, this time, as we try to make it more about worship and prayer together. One of the things that I really like about this event is that it brings together people from many backgrounds and beliefs under the unifying truth that Jesus is Lord, and that our primary purpose in life is to worship him! There are a number of people from our own church, but there are also people there with whom we would like never worship, under “normal” circumstances. It’s not about a denomination or any particular “belief system.” It’s about Jesus, and worshiping him.
I miss baseball.
Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD! Psalm 135:1
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! Psalm 71:2
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. Psalm 116:16
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:23
What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. Psalm 116:10-12
(From Praying With the Psalms)
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:1-2
“Relentless, compulsive work habits, which our society tends to reward and admire, are seen by the psalmist as a sign of weak faith and assertive pride–as if God could not be trusted to accomplish his will, as if we could rearrange the universe by our own effort.” I know some people who should take this to heart.
“Teach me, O Lord, how to work steadily, faithfully, and modestly. I know, Lord, that it is not a question of working or not working; it is a question of who is in charge. Is it going to be your work or mine? Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:13
When God puts us through the things he puts us through, there is always a purpose in mind. It is, in part, “to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you come across.” Who among us has not run across people we simply cannot deal with? Well, why can’t we? “God gave you ample opportunity to soak before Him on that line, and you barged off because it seemed stupid to spend time in that way.” Perhaps we would all do well to ponder that last statement.
“God gave you ample opportunity to soak before Him on that line, and you barged off because it seemed stupid to spend time in that way.”
What do you have to do in order to “soak?” For starters, you have to sit still. When something soaks, it simply lays in whatever it is soaking in, for a long period of time. Before the era of dishwashers, sometimes it was necessary to soak dishes in a sink of warm water, in order to loosen hardened food particles. What better analogy for us to consider? Many of us, even the most devout, unintentionally become hardened with opinions and personal ambitions. These things color our reactions to people with whom we struggle (I’m preaching to myself right now). We need to “soak” in God’s word, both the printed word that we call the Bible, and anything else that he might decide to speak to us in our lives. This soaking will loosen those hardened “particles” of prejudice, those little bits of non-love that have managed to attach themselves to us.
We must be partakers in the sufferings of Christ; we must identify with those sufferings. This does not mean that we should seek to suffer in our own lives. Anyone who tends to seek out suffering should have their head examined. But when suffering comes, we should rejoice, as the Apostles of old did, that we were considered worthy to suffer in the name of Jesus. “Are we prepared for God to stamp our personal ambition right out?” My individual determination needs to be destroyed by the transformation that is possible in Christ, by walking in his “easy yoke.”
Oh, my Father, you have grabbed hold of me today! Teach me to soak! Don’t let me run off and do my own thing! God, there are people who love me dearly, and I tend to run away from them. Why is that? Why can’t I allow them to love me, and then love them back with open arms? Teach me your ways, Lord! Unite me with your Truth! Help me to walk in your kingdom with my brothers and sisters, in unified love and worship and prayer, in the name of Jesus!
Even so, 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.