Today is Monday, March 20, 2017. First day of Spring. Fourteen days until Opening Day!
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” ~ Herman Melville
Anthophilous ~ attracted by or living among flowers.
Today is International Day of Happiness. And let us be reminded that, “happiness does not necessarily come from buying and consuming, or from being famous or glamorous – but often from friends, family and emotional well being.”
We had a pretty awesome day, yesterday. We knew it would be a challenge going into it, as several key (and I mean KEY) people were out from church, yesterday. But we all pitched in, worked a little harder, and got the job done. By “job,” I mean unloading the trailer full of gear, hauling it all into the group room at the YMCA, and setting everything up. Glory to God, everything worked right, because the person who knew how to fix electronic things was one of the people who was out.
Our main worship leader was also out, with some kind of sickness, but that didn’t seem to phase us, either. I even handled a couple of last minute key-changes with grace and determination, meeting the challenge head-on, and actually playing better than I usually do. I credit all of this to the fact that it made me focus better and, you know, maybe use my brain a little bit?
The message was all about blessing. What it means and why we do it. Our church is big on “blessing.” At the end of every gathering, we recite Numbers 6:24-26, which says, “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.” The pastor urged us to not just say the words, but begin to think of someone in particular when we say them. I got with a brother who has been having a particularly rough time, of late, and looked him in the eyes as I spoke the words. It was very meaningful.
Tonight, we start back up with band practice after having Spring Break off. We are preparing for another concert in just over a month. This one will be outdoors at the Southlake Town Square, for the Art in the Square event. April 22, I believe.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
(From The President’s Devotional)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
“Every one of the great revolutionists, from Isaiah to Shelley, have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, The Defendant
“Dear Lord, today, help me be forcefully optimistic. Every negative thought, every downcast idea, let them shatter like a pane of glass. I know that all things work together for good, for those who love you and are called according to your purpose. And I stand on that promise. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)
Father, sometimes the idea of being an optimist sounds cheesy. Sometimes people who are overly-positive annoy me. And I don’t want my sense of optimism to be like that. I want it to be, rather, a firm belief in your promises and the fact that you desire to “bless” me, meaning, “the projection of good into the life of another.” That’s what it means to bless someone. So let me take that blessing and run with it, sending it toward other people, as well. Let me be a blessing to everyone I come in contact with today. And let me, like Joshua, stand on the promise that you work all things together for good, for those who love you and are called according to your purpose.
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.