Never Isolated

“Worship . . . makes certain that we know that we are never isolated in this calling/walking life. We are all necessarily in relation to one another. What each of us does affects all the others. When we hear and respond to God, we usually do it alone but implicitly always in community, whether we are in the same room with others or not.”

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Today is Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Day 21,678. 31 days until S’s birthday!

“I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man.” ~ Dwight L. Moody
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is edacious, an adjective meaning “having a huge appetite : ravenous,” or, “excessively eager : insatiable.”

I don’t know who let this happen, but today is both Ice Cream Day and Hot Dog Day!! How on earth am I supposed to choose between those? I already knew Hot Dog Day was coming, because Sonic has been advertising dollar hot dogs for a couple of weeks, now. I didn’t know it was Ice Cream Day until about a minute ago. So have a hot dog. And some ice cream. Maybe not together, though. But who knows??

Tonight is bowling night, and it looks like we will all be there. I hope so. It just wasn’t as much fun without C, last week. We’ve already decided we won’t continue with this league in the fall. I would love to keep bowling, but not on a weeknight. That’s just too difficult for us. It creates stress, and we don’t need that. So we’ll check out weekend leagues and see if there are any we can get into.

The Red Sox had another fifteen-inning game, last night. This time they won, beating the Boo Jays 5-4. It was one minute shy of five hours. The Sox maintain a two game lead in the AL East. The Rangers, on the other hand, lost 12-1 to the Orioles, with the starting pitcher giving up six runs in the first inning. Seems to me he did that last time he started. (Insert definition of insanity.) I have to question management’s strategy, here. The Rangers are 17.5 out, now, in third place.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

But I call to God, and the LORD will save me. 
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. 
He redeems my soul . . .
God will give ear . . . he who is enthroned from of old, Selah.

Psalm 55:16-19
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
Psalm 80:7
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
Psalm 76:7
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:3
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 
So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Mark 13:28-32
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. 
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. 
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! 
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.

Psalm 33:6-11

(From Practice Resurrection)

One of the most common complaints that we hear when talking to non-church-goers about worship is, “I just don’t get anything out of it.” The incorrect response to that is to try to make it something that people will get something out of, to infuse it with adrenaline. Hence what I call “emotional manipulation” that comprises most of today’s worship music.

The thing is, worship is not supposed to make something happen. “Worship brings us into a presence in which God makes something happen.” I like our pastor’s take on it. He tells us not to think of God sitting in a chair, being a spectator, during our worship gatherings, but, rather, to think of Jesus walking up and down the aisles and rows of our people, working in our lives.

“Worship uses personal, conversational language to nurture the recognition of our essential capacity for hearing ourselves personally addressed (called) by the voice of God. It then treats us with the dignity of being able to live (walk) worthily, that is, appropriately, into the calling. It makes certain that we know that we are never isolated in this calling/walking life. We are all necessarily in relation to one another. What each of us does affects all the others. When we hear and respond to God, we usually do it alone but implicitly always in community, whether we are in the same room with others or not.”

“Worship is the most characteristic act of the Christian community as it makes itself at home in the conditions conducive to growing to maturity in Christ.”

Father, thank you for this community. Thank you for placing me in a community of faith, people with whom I can worship and walk. Thank you for making them challenging to me, and for making me challenging to them. If we were all of like mind on all things, it would be pretty boring. But we challenge each other (sometimes, not in good ways) and, as Scripture says, “iron sharpens iron.” Help me to love all of these as you have loved me. Help me to never consider myself isolated, but realize and remember that everything I do is done in community with all other believers.
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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