Today is Saturday, January 28, 2017. Only three days left in January.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
Chanticleer – a rooster.
Today is Kazoo Day. Celebrate the buzzing instrument by humming a tune. And for your added enjoyment, here is the Northwestern University Kazoo Choir performing the “Hallelujah Chorus” on kazoo. Was the audience standing, I wonder?
Today, as mentioned above, is Saturday. And, as usual, I’m taking my sweet time getting this blog entry done.
C is currently at Cheddar’s with some other ladies in the church. It’s a “confessional group.” It seems they always “confess” over lunch or dinner. Tomorrow, after church, the ladies are having an “After-Christmas Regifting Party.” Later today, I have a meeting with our two elders. Perhaps I will explain at a later date what that is about.
I noticed that I forgot to put my baseball numbers down yesterday. Or did I? I can’t remember. So here they are for today. 28/65. It is less than a month until they begin playing baseball again.
Attention, all! See the marvels of GOD! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth Psalm 46:8
Make the king a winner, GOD; the day we call, give us your answer. Psalm 20:9
Strong God, I’m watching you do it, I can always count on you. Psalm 59:9
GOD makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. Psalm 103:6
“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” Luke 6:27-30
(From Living the Message)
Tremble, Earth! You’re in the Lord’s presence! in the presence of Jacob’s God.
He turned the rock into a pool of cool water, turned flint into fresh spring water. Psalm 114:7-8
“We do not begin life on our own. We do not finish it on our own.” Life is not built out of lumber, nor is it stored in warehouses. “It is not hammered together with the planks and nails of our thoughts and dreams, our feelings and fancies. We are not self-sufficient.” We really need to understand that last sentence. No matter how much we might believe we are, “we are not self-sufficient!”
Our world was created by God before we arrived. It has a rich history. It is full of other participants. We are not solipsistic. Well, we might be, but it is wrong. In this world, other people build houses and raise children; volcanoes erupt and lava flows to the sea. No matter how carefully we might observe the world around us, it continues to surprise us with unexpected events, like a rock that turned into a pool of cool water. “We keep on being surprised because we are in on something beyond our management, something over our heads.”
When we pray, we participate in this world, being involved with everything that exists, “no matter how remote it seems to us or how indifferent we are to it.” Our prayers are not merely emotional sidebars that we sidle into after our “real work” is done. In fact, prayer is the “real work.” We are intrinsically involved with the world around us. “The extravagantly orchestrated skies and the exuberantly fashioned earth are not the background to provide a little beauty on the periphery of the godlike ego; they are the large beauty in which we find our true home, room in which to live the cross and Christ expansively, openhearted in praise.”
That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? And quite philosophical, as well. What it says to me is that, while we might adopt the philosophy that “this world is not my home,” and, “I am only passing through,” it is, in fact, our home for now. It is dangerous to approach it as some distant, almost nonexistent place that really doesn’t matter. It does matter, and it is part of our lives. We are all connected; no man is an island. Simon and Garfunkel were wrong. I am not a rock; I am not an island. I am connected to you; you are connected to me. The life of Jesus Christ gives me the power to live in that connectedness like I care about you and all others around me. This is the gospel. The Kingdom of heaven is here, now, and is available to us. We can live in that kingdom, putting the words of Jesus to practice in our lives.
Father, help me to see the truth in this reading, as I live each day. Sometimes, I am guilty of ignoring most of the world around me and focusing on myself as though I am the only true reality. Nothing could be further from the truth. Help me to not live that way, but to be intrinsically aware of everything around me. Help me to walk slowly through this earth, taking measure of all things as I go, that I might know better how to pray, and how to relate to my fellow person.
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.