Today is Sunday, November 27, 2016. Twenty-eight days until Christmas!
“Study the past, if you would divine the future.” – Confucius
Soliloquize – to talk to oneself. Boy, do I do that!
Today is Pins and Needles Day. Believe it or not, this day started in 1937 to commemorate the opening of a Broadway musical play by the same name. It was produced by Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. Here’s the only song I can find on You Tube from the musical.
We didn’t do a whole lot yesterday, but we did get the grocery shopping done. We also went to a local business to get some Christmas decorations. They didn’t have any dated ornaments, so we bought a couple of new things there, and then wound up going to the one store we knew would have some dated ornaments, Pier One. We found one there, along with a couple of nice smelly things.
This morning, we are getting ready for our worship gathering. We worship with The Exchange, which meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 Beach Street, in Fort Worth. The gathering begins at 10:15.
Today is the first Sunday in Advent
Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Psalm 111:1
. . . that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:18
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Psalm 118:22
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Of David. I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. Psalm 138:1-3
“The soul that praises God develops sinews of strength. Without praise our spirits become anemic and flabby. Praise stretches us to respond to God at full capacity and gives heartiness to faith.”
“Mighty God, in the same way that some develop their bodies in calisthenics and games, I will develop my soul in worship and praise. I don’t want any part of my life to be weak resignation; I want all of it, by your grace, to be strong affirmation–a firm yes to your Yes to me in Jesus Christ. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14
If I focus on the Cross of Christ, it does not make me interested only in my own holiness. Rather, I become “dominantly concentrated on Jesus Christ’s interests.” Jesus did not cut himself off from society. In fact, he was so in touch with the “ordinary world” that people accused him of being a “glutton and a wine-bibber!” Even so, “Our Lord never allowed anything to interfere with His consecration of spiritual energy.”
If we consciously cut ourselves off from things in order to store up spiritual power, we are counterfeiting consecration. Jesus prayed not for us to be taken out of the world, but, rather, that we would be kept from evil. “We are to be in the world but not of it; to be disconnected fundamentally, but not externally.”
Father, help me to be just this; disconnected fundamentally, but not externally. I cannot shut myself off from the external world, and, for the most part, in recent years, I have not attempted to do so. But I must stay connected with you through Christ, and this is the difficult part. It is truly a challenge to stay connected with the world, yet consecrated in you. May your Spirit enable me to do so, and may that be accomplished through remembering to worship and praise you daily, consistently.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
“Almighty God, give all of us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)
Grace and peace, friends.