Celebrate Life

Today is Monday, May 22, 2017. Day 21,620. Eleven days until our Oregon vacation.

Quote of the Day

“Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.” ~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Word of the Day

Ultracrepidarian ~ noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise. This relates to probably 99% of the political posts I see on Facebook.

Today is Sherlock Holmes Day. Elementary, my dear.

I don’t have enough words to describe how amazingly, awesomely, wonderful this past weekend was. We arrived at Uncle Buddy’s house at around 12:30. Johnny and Shelia, Jayne and Jimmy, and Robbie and Katie (along with Hannah) were already there. Joan, Tiffany, and Darrell arrived shortly after. After visiting for a few minutes, lunch was served, delicious BBQ brisket and pork, cooked by Johnny, along with beans, pasta salad, baked potatoes, sopapilla cheesecake, chocolate cake, and peach cobbler.

After lunch, we took rides around the property on a “side-by-side” that Darrell had brought over. I saw part of the property I had never seen before. It’s all so beautiful and wild out there. I got a great picture of my mother and uncle about to take a spin around the place.

We even got to play some Forty-Two during the afternoon. We all manage to get together for a group picture, but I don’t have a digital copy of it yet, only a hard copy that my aunt printed. I have to get it scanned, and I’ll post it. It was a very good picture.

Later that evening, C and I went on into Henderson, had a quick bite to eat, then checked into our motel. S decided she wanted to spend the night with her cousin, who only lived a short distance from my uncle’s house. After our complimentary breakfast, we headed back over to Uncle Buddy’s house, visited a while longer, and then Joan and Tiffany came back over, as well as Johnny and Shelia. We had sandwiches made from leftover brisket from the day before, and then had a nice time just sitting and talking for a few hours.

We dropped Mama off at home in Mineral Wells, at about 8 PM last night, then headed on back home.

It was a phenomenal weekend, and I am grateful beyond words to everyone who made it happen.

Oh, and we took PTO for today, to get caught up on stuff we normally do on weekends.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Psalm 96:2-3
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
Psalm 5:3
Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.
Psalm 21:14
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 
before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 96:11-13
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! 
He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. 
He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. 
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, 
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Psalm 147:7-11

(From The President’s Devotional)

“Exhaust the little moment, soon it dies
And be it gash or gold, it will never come
Again in this identical guise” ~ Gwendolyn Brooks, “Annie Allen”

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Psalm 100:4

Joshua DuBois, in this reading entitled “The Little Moment,” begins with, “Every day is precious. This one is no exception.”

What can I do to honor this day? What kind of “unique enthusiasm” can I bring to it?

Today is the 21,620th anniversary of my birth. That’s a lot of days. I don’t remember most of them. You probably don’t remember most of yours, either. But each day that we are alive is “a present gift wrapped by God, begging to be opened.”

In the past few days, I have begun to move toward an attitude of “celebrating life.” I have spent far too many days allowing myself to be drug down into a festering pool of misery, for whatever reason. I’m a moody person, always have been. But God can work through that, and he can certainly change that, if I work toward changing it, too. Again, I talk about spiritual formation and the Spiritual Disciplines. I didn’t get to practice the solitude I was hoping for over the weekend, but there was plenty of celebration! And that did us all good.

One of the things that is bringing this about is my realization that we spend far too much energy longing for the weekend. Every Monday morning, one of my work associates starts out moaning and sighing and wishing Friday would hurry up and get here. But, here’s the thing . . . what if we could just somehow skip from Monday to Friday and start the weekend? I’m sure some people would immediately say, “Yeah!” But then there’s five days gone from your life. Five days skipped. Five gift-wrapped presents from God that we never opened.

Each day is a gift. Each day is a potential treasure. Yes, they will bring challenges. They might even bring sorrow and tears, perhaps even fear. But, taken in context of the reality of the kingdom of God (Dallas Willard says, “things are really better than you can ever imagine as you live in the kingdom of God”), we can still unwrap these precious days and live them to the fullest of our potential, walking in the “easy yoke” of Christ.

Celebrate life!

“Dear God, let me honor this day with gladness in my heart. Increase the joy within me, and the gratitude I feel for this life. Amen.” ~ Joshua DuBois

Father, help me to celebrate life. I talk big ideas and big concepts, sometimes, but when things get rough, or when something doesn’t go the way I want it to, I sure tend to fall back into my old habits. I’m praying, asking you to help me crawl out of those habits and stand, triumphantly, on the broad level ground that is your kingdom. Help me to live in the reality that “things are really better than [I] can ever imagine.” Reality. Reality is not what I see with my eyes, happening in this corrupt world around me. Too many “Christians” are wrapped up in that reality. Help us all to see the truth. Help us to know the truth so that the truth can set us free. Help me to celebrate life.
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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