Risking An Open Heart

Today is Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Last day of January.

Quote of the Day

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde

Word of the Day

Kibitzer – one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comment.

.yaD drawkcaB si yadoT

As mentioned yesterday, I won’t be going to work this morning. Instead, S and I will be heading to Mineral Wells at around 8:30, to pick up my mother and go to Bill Bennett’s memorial service at FBC. It starts at 10:30.

Band practice went well, last night. We have a couple of new guys playing trombone, and it is fun getting to know them. This concert, coming up March 7, will be quite ambitious. It appears that we will have video clips being displayed while we are playing the various Disney tunes, as well as, potentially, some vocalists singing along with us. It promises to be great fun.

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TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:1-2

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. Psalm 67:1

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.
Psalm 123:1-2

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:17

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14

(From The President’s Devotional)

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

“There is a profound ground of unity that is more pertinent and authentic than all the unilateral dimension of our lives. This a man discovers when he is able to keep open the door of his heart. This is one’s ultimate responsibility, and it is not dependent upon whether the heart of another is kept open for him.”–Howard Thurman, A Strange Freedom

What a magnificent quote! Jesus bids us keep our hearts open to others. He did not say those specific words, but I truly believe that the sentiment exists in his teachings. We are to keep our hearts open, even if others do not open their hearts to us.

What frightens us is the risk involved. Yes, it is a risk to open my heart to others, because they might take advantage of me; they might abuse me; they might trample on my heart and leave it shattered. But that is of no concern to me, or at least it should not be. If we consider that Jesus holds our hearts and keeps them safe, no matter what men may do to them, then we have no risk. But we don’t trust him, do we?

“Open our hearts, God. To instruction, unheard. To possibility, unseen. To love, unfelt. To joy, unknown. If we have been closed off, we repent. And we ask you to open our hearts. Amen.”

Father, it is with great joy that I can say that I believe that you have been in the process of doing this in me for some time, now. I can also say, with all confidence, that it’s not complete, yet. I pray that you do not stop working in me. Help me to completely open my heart and keep it open toward all around me. Help me to trust in your ability in Christ to keep my heart safe and whole.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Before I go, I want to share something. I have run across a song, a worship song, that has “rocked my world,” so to speak. This hasn’t happened in quite some time, but it happened Sunday afternoon, as I waited at a drive-thru for lunch for S and me. This song is by Hillsongs Worship, and is called “What A Beautiful Name.”

Grace and peace, friends.

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