As Far As the East Is From the West

Today is Saturday, July 1, 2017. Day 21,660. Welcome to July. Beginning of my four-day-weekend! Three more days until our July 4 holiday!

“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is exurb, a noun, which means, “a small, usually prosperous, community situated beyond the suburbs of a city.” We used to have several exurbs in the DFW area, but it seems that they are now suburbs, as the area has grown so much.

Today is Canada Day! This day celebrates the joining of three separate British colonies into one, in 1867. Who wouldn’t want to be a nation like Canada, that probably has the reputation for being the nicest people in the world? Last night, as I was driving home from work, Jim Ladd, on Free Form Radio (airing on Sirius/XM channel 27, Deep Tracks) was featuring musical acts from Canada, and he was getting requests from both the U.S. and Canada. He commented that the people requesting from Canada were so very polite. But he also said that the people requesting from the U.S. were showing marvelous support for our neighbor to the north. Happy Canada Day!!

It’s also Second Half of the Year Day, for obvious reasons.

I got in two hours of overtime yesterday! TWO HOURS! That’s right. I didn’t leave work until 6:30 PM! But I was okay with it. I mean, sure, I was exhausted, and any other Friday, I might have been mad or discouraged as all get-out. But last night? I just kept thinking about how, as soon as I punched out, I would be off for four consecutive days! Yes, sir! Since I have scheduled PTO for Monday, I get a four-day-weekend! C’s company is giving them that day off as an extra holiday, this year, so she is off Monday, too! How great is that?

This morning, in about an hour, I’m going to an eye doctor. It may finally be time for me to get regular glasses again. Not everyone who knows me is aware, but I had lasik surgery in 2004. Prior to that, my nearsightedness was off the charts; 20/400+. I came out of that surgery with very close to 20/20 vision! It was marvelous. I still needed reading glasses for things like, well, reading. As expected, over the course of thirteen years, the vision has deteriorated a bit, but nothing even remotely close to what it was before. I can still see well enough to drive, and can read signs and whatnot. But medium range vision has grown just a tad fuzzy. I have prescription glasses that I got last year (maybe 2015?) that were specifically designed for medium distances, such as computer work and reading music on a music stand (approximately two to three feet), and had bifocals for the reading glasses. I will have my eyes checked today and see what the doctor recommends.

The Red Sox won in 11 innings, last night, against the hated Boo Jays (no “Happy Canada Day” to Joey Bats, thank you very much), so they are still in first place, one game ahead of the Yankees. Sorry, Cayman Thorn.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD, 
Psalm 135:1
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. You have loosed my bonds. 
Psalm 116:16
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalm 118:23
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 
So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:24-29
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. 

Psalm 103:10-14

I have to get ready and leave for my appointment, now, so I’m out of time. However, I just want to focus on that last passage from Psalms, above the line. Psalm 103:10-14. These are some of the most beautiful words in Scripture and I would simply invite you to meditate on them for a few minutes.

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. 

Father, thank you for these words, and praise you for the truths that they represent. Help us to live in those truths, and in that steadfast love that you have toward us.
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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