Of Kardashians and “The Talk”

“No other culture has been as eager to reward either nonsense or wickedness.”

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Today is Saturday, April 15, 2017. Holy Saturday.

Quote of the Day

“What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.” ~ Pearl Bailey

Word of the Day

Sententious ~ abounding in pithy aphorisms or maxims: a sententious book.

Today is Record Store Day. I love the idea of this day, but, thus far, have yet to make it to an actual record store on Record Store Day. I have always loved records. I’ll admit, I jumped on the CD bandwagon, when they came out, but I was sad that they stopped making vinyl so quickly. As I have gotten older, I have decided (and I am not alone) that vinyl sounds better than digital music. You see, life happens in analog. Life is not digital. Therefore, vinyl sounds more real, more authentic, and more “warm.” Digital, while it may be “perfect,” is cold and lifeless.

I actually got off work early yesterday! We literally ran out of work around 3:30 PM, yesterday, so the manager let some of us go home. Because some of us decided to ask if we could. It was nice to get off early on Friday.

The Rangers and Red Sox both lost, yesterday. The Sox lost badly to the Rays, 10-5, with Porcello taking the loss. This puts Boston back at 5-5 on the season, and have dropped to fourth place. The Rangers lost a close one to the last place Mariners, 2-1, with reliever Leclerc taking the loss. Perez got a no-decision on the game. They are now 4-6 on the season, also in fourth place. I know it’s very early in the season, but it is certainly fun to see the Boo Jays in last place with a 1-9 record.

You may notice that I’m rather late posting this, today. This is because I actually slept until 10:00 AM, today!

And, lest I forget, I should mention that, around 8:00-ish this morning, CDT, 1.4 million people watched a giraffe give birth.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Just a word before I start the morning’s verses from The Divine Hours. Today is a somber day in “Christian” history. It is one of the days between the crucifixion and the resurrection. We commemorate the crucifixion on “Good Friday,” although I have believed for several decades that there is no way Jesus was crucified on Friday. But that’s a whole different subject that I don’t want to take the time to address today. This day, however, “Holy Saturday,” is a day without hope for the disciples. Honestly, based on their reactions at the resurrection, they didn’t truly believe the words of Jesus. Even up to the end, I sincerely believe that they were expecting Jesus to do something miraculous, come down off of that cross, and set up his kingdom on earth, right then.

But he didn’t.

He died.

And was buried.

Even Mary, when she and the other women went to the tomb to finish the burial rituals, thought that someone had stolen the body.

So today, Saturday between the crucifixion and the resurrection, has to be one of the most hopeless days in the history of mankind. We, looking back at the story, go about our lives as though nothing is different, because we know what happens. We have hope. There were eleven disciples and a small band of women who had no hope on this day. Their lives had been shattered. In fact, they were probably hiding, hoping that the authorities couldn’t find them and punish them for their belief in this radical Jesus.

I sincerely believe that we would do well to ponder these things on this, Holy Saturday.

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
Psalm 31:24
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!
Psalm 71:2
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
My times are in your hand.

Psalm 116:16, 31:15a
I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
Psalm 31:22
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! 
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! 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; 
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. 
  Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

Psalm 31:1-5
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen. (The Gloria)

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:12-14

(From Living the Message)

Today’s reading is “An Odd Phenomenon.”

“The puzzle is why so many people live so badly. Not so wickedly, but so inanely. Not so cruelly, but so stupidly.” Eugene Peterson goes on to say that, in the people who are prominent in our culture, there is little to admire, and even less to imitate. Kardashians, anyone? Real wives of wherever? Jersey Shores? “We have celebrities but not saints. Famous entertainers amuse a nation of bored insomniacs.” We the people are amusing ourselves with trivia and trash. “Neither the adventure of goodness nor the pursuit of righteousness gets headlines . . .”

The “odd phenomenon,” to which he refers in the title, is the people with trivial lives who engage in evil acts “in order to establish significance for themselves.” Here’s what happens. Someone attempts to take that jump from obscurity to fame by killing someone important (or at least trying to). Or perhaps by hijacking a plane or holding some people hostage. Anyone remember the name John Hinckley? How about Mark David Chapman?

We then, with the help of the free press, proceed to make heroes out of criminals. “The mass media report their words and display their actions. Writers vie with one another in analyzing their motives and providing psychological profiles on them. No other culture has been as eager to reward either nonsense or wickedness.”

On this day of hopelessness, may we consider the things and people to which we pay attention. A few months ago, the PTBs put a TV in our breakroom. I loathe that TV. I had to buy a pair of noise-canceling headphones in order to enjoy some quiet so I can read during my breaks and lunch. Afternoon TV is horrible. One of the shows that is always on during my lunch break is “The Talk.” I sit in amazement (before and after I use my headphones, mind you) as these people who are either nobodies or has-been celebrities spout their opinions as though it matters what they think. And the audiences, like the sheep that they are, “Ooh” and “Aah,” and “Yes!” and “No!” almost as if on cue. This is where our society has come.

What if we gave Jesus as much attention as we give Kim Kardashian? What if we valued his opinion as much as we value Sharon Osborne’s? What if we came to Jesus instead of people?

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.”
John 7:37b-38 (The Message)

Let me just say that I am convicted by this reading. I don’t pander to the “non-celebrity celebrities,” but there is plenty in my life that distracts me from seeking the face of God and following in the steps of Jesus. So may we, together, find the path of truth and righteousness and live that “adventure of goodness,” that we might follow Christ to victory and wholeness. God help us do a better job of keeping our souls.

Father, teach us. Teach me. Teach me how to follow Jesus and leave behind things that are trivial and trashy. Help me to leave behind the things that do not belong in my walk with you. Help me to know the value of things, that I might only keep in my life things that are worthy. I guess what I’m praying is that that verse in Philippians 4 would be true in my life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (Philippians 4:8, The Message)
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.

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