Today is Monday, March 6, 2017. FOUR days until our Glen Rose weekend!
“There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you.” ~ Peter De Vries
Fusillade ~ a general discharge or outpouring of anything.
Today is Fun Facts About Names Day. Odd, because yesterday was Namesake Day, right? But today, the idea is to learn “fun facts” about yours or other peoples’ names, or even, perhaps, names of places. For example, my name, Jeffrey, means “God’s peace,” or “divine peace.” Perhaps I should start living up to that.
This week will be a fun week. Tonight, band practice will be held at the church where the concert will be held tomorrow night. That was probably a terrible sentence. Oh, well. This will be the first time, since I’ve been a member, that we have actually rehearsed at the venue. I am taking PTO tomorrow. I simply decided that I didn’t want to have to change into dress clothes at work, then have to worry about eating something in a white dress shirt, and all that. So I’ll have a leisurely day at home, and then show up at the church for the concert, and S can ride with me, if she wants to go, and I think she does. C plans to meet us there. Our concert will be at Whites Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake, at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, March 7.
Saturday, we head to Glen Rose for four days to celebrate another year on this planet. My birthday is next Monday, March 13. I’m completing my 59th year, officially beginning year number 60. Egad. To help this, we’re taking PTO next Monday and Tuesday.
Twenty-eight days until Opening Day!
My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
O LORD, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah.
(From Living the Message)
In recent years, there has been a lot of anger and disappointment toward “the church,” especially in the U.S. A lot of it comes from people outside the church, but some comes from within, as well. The cause of this is, according to Eugene H. Peterson, “failed expectations.”
“We expect a disciplined army of committed men and women who courageously lay siege to the worldly powers; instead we find some people who are more concerned with getting rid of the crabgrass in their lawns. We expect a community of saints who are mature in the virtues of love and mercy, and find ourselves working on a church supper where there is more gossip than there are casseroles. We expect to meet minds that are informed and shaped by the great truths and rhythms of scripture, and find persons whose intellectual energy is barely sufficient to get them from the comics to the sports page.”
The key just might possibly be that our expectations need to be re-examined and changed, rather than trying to change the church. You see, the church is not our organization, it’s God’s. It’s what he has given us. And the church should not be the people we want to be with, but the people God has given us to be with, “a community created by the descent of the Holy Spirit in which we submit ourselves to the Spirit’s affirmation, reformation, and motivation.”
We must not idealize the church.
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. 2 Corinthians 4:7-8 (The Message)
Father, this is a beautiful picture of your church. Yes, we are feeble. Yes, we fail to meet the expectations of the world around us, but are those expectations even fair? More than likely, not. Nevertheless, I pray that we, your Church, will be empowered by your Holy Spirit to meet your expectations of us! Let us not be concerned with what the world expects from us. Let us only be concerned with what you expect from us.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.