The Kingdom of God is In Your Midst

Today is Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Welcome to November. Day 21,783.

Four days until Daylight Saving Time ends.

Lyle Lovett, who was born on this date in 1956, said, “One of my favorite things is when people will ask for a song that I hadn’t planned to play. It is really fun to see if you can remember something, and you don’t always. I mean, sometimes it’s just crash and burn.”

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is apodictic, an adjective which means, “expressing or of the nature of necessary truth or absolute certainty.”

Today is Authors’ Day, celebrating the works of, especially, American Authors. If you know an author, show some gratitude today for a profession that makes life a bit more bearable. Unless you don’t read. But then, you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?

Time is getting away from me, but I must update you on C’s knee surgery. It went great. The surgery started just after 8:00 AM, yesterday, which was only thirty minutes late. Not bad. I waited in the waiting room, the whole time (except for about thirty minutes when I was in the Bistro having breakfast). Shortly after 10:00 AM, I got the page that I could come back to the recovery area, where C was just waking up. She was shivering because anesthesia makes her cold. But she was in good spirits, and woke up pretty quickly. She’s always been a morning person.

After a few minutes, they directed me to go on up to the second floor waiting room. All of the rooms are on the second floor. In the meantime, I kept missing the doctor. When I went back to recovery, he was in the downstairs waiting room, looking for me. By the time he got back to recovery, I was on the second floor. At any rate, he told C that everything went great. While I was waiting on the second floor, I watched Wendy Williams faint on live TV. That was unexpected, to say the least.

They got C up to her room, and I stayed with her until they brought her lunch to her, at which point I headed out to pick up lunch for S and me. After sitting at home for a little while, we both took showers, and then headed back up to the hospital, arriving around 5:00 PM. We visited with C for about an hour. She had already been up walking, having walked about a 100 feet with “minimal assistance.” She wanted to walk more. She’s tough that way. But they wouldn’t let her.

I’ve shared a few texts with C this morning, and she’s doing well, but didn’t sleep well. We didn’t think about packing the noise machine, so it was really quite in there. We’re hoping she gets to come home tonight.

The Dodgers won game six of the World Series, 3-1. Verlander pitched well, striking out nine batters, but they got to him in the sixth inning, and that was all it took. Game seven is tonight.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Psalm 31:23
To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.
Psalm 28:1
Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?
Psalm 77:13
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Psalm 25:20
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
Luke 17:20-21
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Psalm 25:20
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 
He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

Psalm 57:1-3
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Psalm 25:20
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
Psalm 55:17
Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us-
may your will be done here on earth in
just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one in charge,
and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever-
which is just the way we want it!

The Lord’s Prayer (Dallas Willard’s paraphrase)

I’m captivated by the reading above, from Luke’s Gospel. “For behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” This is something that God has been revealing to me, recently. For years, I have read the Gospels all wrong. For years, I believed that the kingdom of God (or the heavens) was a place where I would go when I die. And while there will certainly be a “place” or an “existence” that we call “heaven” after I die, the kingdom of God is now! It came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and remains on earth, now, in the person of the Holy Spirit residing in those who believe in Jesus Christ. So, even though Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father (don’t ask me where that is, because I don’t know), the kingdom of God is still “in the midst of you.”

Every day, I look around at people I work with and I think about how they are walking around in the presence of God, in the midst of God, and most of them are totally unaware of it. I’m trying, in the same way that Frank Laubach did (Letters By A Modern Mystic), to be more aware of God’s presence each day, even to the point of trying to think about him every minute. This is a difficult challenge, but when accomplished, yields remarkable rewards.

Father, keep showing me your kingdom that is in our midst every minute of every day. Help me to walk in your kingdom, being aware of your presence, and thinking about you more often. Then show me how to make others aware of your presence.
Thank you for C’s successful surgery. I pray that her recovery will be quick and without issue. I thank you for all of the prayers of the saints during this time.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Grace and peace, friends.


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