A Life of Blessing

Today is Monday, February 20, 2017. C comes home today!!

Quote of the Day

“If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” – Khalil Gibran

Word of the Day

Statecraft – the art of government and diplomacy. Sounds like a video game.

Besides being Presidents Day, today is also Cherry Pie Day. I love a good cherry pie, albeit, I prefer the cream cheese version that has long been a favorite in my family. I probably won’t get any today, though. I did manage to eat a couple of York Peppermint Patties yesterday, though.

As stated above, C comes home today. Her flight is estimated to arrive at 1:42 PM. I’m going to Discount Tire before I go pick her up, where I will get a spare tire that they are putting together for her car. Hopefully, we will be able to get it changed, but if not, we will call AAA to come change the tire for us, then take the busted tire somewhere to get it fixed. If the spare works out, it’s a full sized tire, so there won’t be a sense of urgency to get the other one fixed. We still might go ahead and do it today, though, since we will both be off the rest of the day. I suspect C will be exhausted, though, and want to get some rest. I have not decided if I will go to band practice tonight.

5 more days until Spring Training Games begin.
42 days until Opening Day!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD! Psalm 31:24

You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. Psalm 12:7

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! Psalm 80:3

You will increase my greatness and comfort me again. Psalm 71:21

(From Living the Message)

A Song of Ascents.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! 
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. 
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. 
The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! 
May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 128 (ESV)

One thing that we can say about “Christian blessing” is that it is realizing that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” “As we learn to give and to share, our vitality increases and the people around us become ‘fruitful vines’ and ‘olive shoots’ around our tables.”

There are promised blessings, blessings pronounced upon us by other Christians, and, of course, blessings that we simply experience in our day-to-day lives. However, these do not exclude difficulties. We are never promised that. These difficulties come from outside, “temptations, seductions, pressures.” Christians in the Middle Ages gave headings to these difficulties; “the world, the flesh, and the devil: the world–the society of proud and arrogant mankind that defies and tries to eliminate God’s rule and presence in history; the flesh–the corruption that sin has introduced into our very appetites and instincts; and the devil–the malignant will that tempts and seduces us away from the will of God.” And we still have to deal with all of these today. “We are in a battle. There is a fight of faith to be waged.” But our way of faith follows the path of what God is doing and what he has done. On a side note, but somewhat related, our pastor stated yesterday that instead of asking God to bless what we are doing, we should find out what God is doing and bless that.

We travel a road that is well-traveled. It is not, as Robert Frost said, “the road less traveled.” It is a road of discipleship that is “not a way of boredom or despair or confusion. It is not a miserable groping, but a way of blessing.”

There are no “tricks” to this life, nor is any luck involved. (Personally, I do not believe in a thing called “luck.”) “We simply become Christians and begin the life of faith. We acknowledge God as our maker and lover, and accept Christ as the means by which we can be in living relationship with God.” God is the center of our existence (or at least he should be). We learn how this world came about, how God provided for redemption, and we endeavor to walk in that way, the way of the Kingdom, in the easy yoke of Jesus. As the psalm says, “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his way!”

In short, God blesses us so that we can, in turn, bless others.

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (The Message)

Father, I first want to thank you for placing me in this life of blessing. I confess that my gratitude has been lacking, of late. But your Spirit keeps me moving in the right direction, even if the steps are small. I pray that I might take the blessing with which you have blessed me and turn it into blessing toward others. Our pastor has defined blessing as wishing good things to happen to other people. I can definitely do that, and pray that my attitude would consistently one of directing blessing to others. But, more than that, you have given me the means to actually take action in blessing others. I pray that you would open my eyes and my heart to see the opportunities that come my way to pour out blessings on other people.

I also pray for C’s flight home to be safe and without incident, and that we can get this tire situation handled in a small amount of time.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Any time these categories of difficulties get mentioned, it makes me think of this song by one of my favorite alternative Christian groups, The 77s.

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.

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