Never Give Up

Today is Friday, August 4, 2017. Day 21,694. 15 days until S’s and J’s birthday!

“The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea:
what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?” ― Percy Bysshe Shelley
Goodreads

The word of the day is hobbyhorse, a noun. We’re probably all familiar with the definition, “a stick with a horse’s head, or a rocking horse, ridden by children.” But it can also mean, “a pet idea or project.”

Today is International Beer Day. Personally, I don’t care for the stuff. And not for lack of trying. I just don’t like the taste of beer, and even the most fancy-schmancy craft beers still taste like beer to me. However, I have some good friends who like beer, so I’ll raise a glass (but not beer) to them.

We now have several stacks of vinyl planks in our front hallway. The guy who will be doing our floor delivered them all last night. They have to sit inside the house for at least 24 hours to get acclimated to the room temperature. We signed the contract, payed 50% of the cost last night (he won’t take the rest until they are finished and we are satisfied), and they will begin the work Monday morning. C will be working from home during the installation, which will probably take all week.

It’s Friday again, so I’m wondering how late I will have to work tonight. It would be nice to get to come home on time for a change.

The Red Sox and Rangers both won, last night. The Sox beat the Other Sox 9-5. They now lead the AL East again, by 2 games. The Rangers beat the Twins 4-1, behind another Joey Gallo monster smash. They remain in fourth place in the AL West, 17 games behind the Astros, but only 4.5 out of the wild card position.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
Psalm 70:4
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!
Psalm 70:5
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
Psalm 116:16
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
Psalm 103:15
And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 
There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 
coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 
All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Mark 7:14-15, 21-23
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 
For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. 
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 
Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? 
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:8-12
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

(From Living the Message)

Several of my readings had a similar theme, this morning, a theme of not giving up. One was on the subject of doing good, based on that verse that tells us to not grow weary from doing good (Galatians 6:9). Then this one from Eugene H. Peterson, called “Never Give Up,” spoke to me, as well.

“The mark of a certain kind of genius is the ability and energy to keep returning to the same task relentlessly, imaginatively, curiously, for a lifetime. Never give up and go on to something else; never get distracted and be diverted to something else.”

He then gives examples of Augustine, who wrote fifteen commentaries on the book of Genesis, because he could never get to the depths of that first book of the Bible. Then Beethoven, who wrote sixteen string quartets, “because he was never satisfied with what he had done.” We all think his work was masterful, but he was never satisfied.

When we persist, we bring “fresh creative energy to each day’s attempt. The same thing over and over, and yet it is never the same thing, for each venture is resplendent with dazzling creativity.”

We should also be grateful for God’s chosen people in the Old Testament, those saints who never gave up, even though they never saw the outcome of their vision.

Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
Hebrews 11:39-40 (The Message)

Father, help me to never give up on whatever I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I feel that I have meandered back and forth across the path, and perhaps even lost my way a little bit. Return me to the path that you have for me, and show me your path, that I may walk in it. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Help me, by your Spirit, to never give up.
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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2 thoughts on “Never Give Up

  1. I’m a traditionalist as far as beers go. Not much for the craft beer craze that has taken hold of the industry. I do enjoy a variety of different beers, but they are the tried and true brands, not the micro-stuff that dominates these days. And I will never put a citrus slice in my beer- any kind of citrus, lol.

    As for the Sawx, it’s been a strange season for them. Every time I think they’re going to run away and hide in the East, they hit a road bump. My Yankees are currently experiencing what it feels like to be a contender, since no one (including yours truly) really gave them much of a chance in a rebuilding year. I still think they are going to come up short in the end, seeing as how the pitching is still a huge question mark even with the Gray addition. But it’s been, dare I say, a fun season in the Bronx.

    Peace and good things

    1. As I recall, the Yankees very quietly remained contenders right up to the last couple of weeks last season. I couldn’t name very many of their players this year; Gardner, Tanaka, that’s about it. But I’ve enjoyed watching the East this year, especially seeing the Boo Jays in dead last. I expect September to be quite interesting.

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