Logically Connected

Today is Friday, November 25, 2016. Thirty days until Christmas.

Quote of the Day

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss

Word of the Day

Perhapser – A person who says ‘perhaps’ with regard to a particular issue.

Today is Buy Nothing Day. We’ll come pretty close to that, although we may not make it perfectly. If we buy anything today, it will probably be food at a restaurant. Otherwise, we don’t go out on Black Friday. We did that once. And considering that I rarely buy any gifts in stores, anyway, there is no need for me to put myself through that again. That being said, tomorrow, I believe, is Small Business Saturday. I will highlight that again, tomorrow, but I would encourage people to go shop at small, local businesses tomorrow. Avoid the huge “discount” box stores and help out people with franchises or independent businesses.

We had a most wonderful day, yesterday. And, I have to say, as I noted on Facebook, my heart was full. I don’t think the day could have gone any better. Well, I will say there was one way . . . if my father could have been there, it would have been better. Otherwise, it was as close to perfect as possible, I do believe. The food was delicious and we had a wonderful time visiting afterward (while S snored on the couch). C and I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack on the trip there and back (and still didn’t quite finish . . . it’s two-and-a-half hours long).

Today will be a welcome day of rest (tomorrow, too, hopefully). We will probably put up Christmas decorations around the house, and perhaps the tree, as well. The lights have been hung for about a week, as we hired a local guy and his son to put them up for us. As already noted, we will not go out shopping today. We may go out for lunch, but not much more than that. Unless we decide to do our grocery shopping today. Who knows?

92 days until the first Spring Training Game.
129 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. Psalm 69:5

When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions. Psalm 65:3

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

(From Praying With the Psalms)

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. 
  On the willows there we hung up our lyres. 
  For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 
  How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land? 
  If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! 
  Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!
Psalm 137:1-6

When Israel was in exile in Babylon, they were taunted by their captors to sing their songs. They truly believed that they could not do it, but eventually realized that “their Lord could be as precious to them in Babylon as he ever was in Jerusalem.” Our Father is our Father, no matter where we are, and we can praise him in any circumstances.

“At the very moment, Lord, when I think all is lost,
that there is nothing to be done, that defeat is total,
show me the way of resurrection whereby you can bring new life, new song and new hope.
In my Babylonian moods keep the vision of Jerusalem alive in my heart and teach me new songs of praise. Amen.”

This psalm always makes me think about this beautiful song by Don McLean.

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The title of this reading is The Secret of Spiritual Coherence. Chambers says that “Most of us are not spiritually coherent because we are more concerned about being coherent externally.” What does “coherent” mean? It means, “logically connected; consistent.” It could also mean “harmonious,” or “sticking together.” So if we are spiritually incoherent, it means that our spiritual life is not consistent or logical. Paul had a strong spiritual coherence, which means that his external life could change however it pleased and he was not distressed, “because he was rooted and ground in God.”

If our consistency is not on the ground floor, in the fundamentals, we will be all over the place spiritually. Chambers makes a bold statement. “Restate to yourself what you believe, then do away with as much of it as possible, and get back to the bedrock of the Cross of Christ.” You probably wouldn’t hear that in a modern Seminary class, or in most modern pulpits. But I began doing that many years ago. That is not a boast, please don’t misunderstand me. I held to a system of beliefs, for many years, that included some stuff that just wasn’t biblical. I began tearing that down, or, perhaps God began tearing that down, in the mid to late eighties, and has continued ever since.

“If we get away from brooding on the tragedy of God upon the Cross in our preaching, it produces nothing.” The preaching might be interesting, but it is powerless without the Cross. The Gospel of Jesus Christ states that the Kingdom of heaven is here, now, and available for us to enter, to walk in. That Gospel is nothing without the Cross. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Father, keep me coherent, spiritually. I confess that I spend too much time trying to be externally coherent. Make my spiritual life logically connected and consistent. Make it logically connected to you! Don’t let my spiritual life get sidetracked by non-essentials and controversies. I pray that my spiritual life will not get distracted by external circumstances, like politics and elections. Draw my spirit, my hope, my confidence, and my trust back to you and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me walk in your Kingdom; walking in the easy yoke of Christ.

Even so, come, Lord, Jesus!

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

Grace and peace, friends.

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