Today is Monday, March 27, 2017. SEVEN more days until Opening Day!
“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.” ~ Laurens Van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958)
Mumpsimus ~ adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy.
Today is Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day. I’m sure you just can’t wait for this day every year, so that you can celebrate with songs like, “I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better,” or, “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly.” Yes. Those are real song titles. How about, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” “Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life.” “She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft.” Or, perhaps, one of my favorites:
However, thanks to the Arizona Diamondbacks, you can, in fact, swim in a baseball pool.
When you walk into a room, what theme song should start playing? I could spend all morning trying to think of one.
Yesterday was a good day. Our worship gathering was good. We had lunch at Los Molcajetes again. I had barbacoa for the first time. I don’t think it was cooked in a hole in the ground, covered by leaves, though.
After lunch, C went to the grocery store and let me stay home and play Mass Effect: Andromeda. This was totally her idea. Later, we watched some TV, then went to bed. Over all, I would say this was one of the most restful weekends we’ve had in a while.
Back to work today, and band practice tonight, so it will be a long day.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
“Pour your grace into my heart, O Lord, that I who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)
(From Daily Guideposts 2017)
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Stephanie Thompson writes of a daily life in which it seems there are “a million things to do!” She lists housekeeping, shopping, preparing meals, volunteering at Bible study, and carpooling her daughter to school and other events. Every day. Wake up and do it again.
One day, her daughter had a day off from school. Stephanie was thrilled that she wouldn’t have to get up before dawn. She turned off the alarm clock and switched her phone to silent.
You can guess what happened. 6:15. Wide awake. She tried to go back to sleep, but was unable. So she had this idea that she would have a nice, slow Bible study, lingering over truths found, while watching the sunrise. Out to the back porch she went.
Her dogs wouldn’t allow her to get her study notebook out, as they took turns jumping in her lap. “Maybe I could read my Bible,” she thought. But the wind whipped the pages too much. “Exasperated, all I could do was sit, watch, and do nothing as the dawn broke.”
After thirty minutes, she went inside, apologizing to God that she didn’t get much done out there. “All I could do was sit and watch the trees blow while listening to the wind.”
Then it dawned on her. That was just what she had needed.
“God help me remember that being with You is always better than working for You.” (Stephanie Thompson)
Folks, thee is so much truth wrapped up in this one sentence prayer. We work so hard “for” God, and many times that work is actually an evasive attempt to keep from actually interacting with God. We feel that if we can keep busy, we’ll be fine. After all, we’re working “for God,” right? Don’t misunderstand. There’s nothing wrong with working for God. But if we would rather do that then simply spend time with him, we have a problem.
God desires for us to abide in him. This takes willingness to sit and observe. To “watch the trees blow while listening to the wind.” In our church, we have this thing we encourage people to do, and I’ll admit I don’t do it very often. We are encouraged to just go outside somewhere, with no notebooks, no phones, no Bible, and just sit for a while, about an hour. Do nothing. Don’t plan anything. Don’t even pray. Just sit. Watch. Listen. As one person said (it may have been Dallas Willard), it is in those moments that we discover that we do, in fact, have a soul.
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19:11-13
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Father, remind me to do this. Remind me that I need times of sitting, watching, listening, doing nothing. Times of silence and solitude. Time to be with you; time to abide.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.