The Best Me

Today is Saturday, January 27, 2018. Day 21,870.

61 days until Opening Day.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on this date in 1756 (died 1791), said, “I cannot write poetically, for I am no poet. I cannot make fine artistic phrases that cast light and shadow, for I am no painter. I can neither by signs nor by pantomime express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer; but I can by tones, for I am a musician.”

The word for today, from the Oxford English Dictionary, because today is also the birthday of Lewis Carroll, is outgrabe, a, um, verb? It means, “A nonsense word; (most frequently) to emit a strange noise.”

I’m a bit late today, as we have had some things going on, this morning. Nothing serious, mind you. But I wasted a couple of hours trying to update my Windows on this PC, only to have it restore the previous version. The update failed, for reasons I know not. Then we decided to go ahead and get our Kroger Click List submitted, so we can pick it up this afternoon. We Also had some minor roof repair done today, during that time.

I think we may actually fire up the grill and cook some steaks tomorrow.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Of David.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. 
  Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! 
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. 
For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. 
Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. 
His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. 
  The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. 
  My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. 
  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 
The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 
Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. 
Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. 
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 
May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. 
  Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Psalm 25

Verses 4 and 5 are a constant prayer of mine, along with Psalm 86:11. “Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Verse 14 reminds me of a Matt Redman song. “The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.”

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 
  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 
  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16

We would do well not to try so very hard to “be” this or that. We certainly should not try to be Jesus. God already has Jesus; He doesn’t need another one. Likewise, I don’t need to try to be Dallas Willard, or St. Augustine. God already has one of each of them, as well. What God needs me to do is to be me. He needs me to be who He planned for me to be, and to be the best me that I can be.

(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
A Revolt Against Christ

“In the earlier history of every rebellion there is a stage at which you do not yet attack the King in person. You say, ‘The King is all right. It is his Ministers who are wrong. They misrepresent him and corrupt all his plans–which, I’m sure are good plans if only the Ministers would let them take effect.’ And the first victory consists in beheading a few Ministers: only at a later stage do you go on and behead the King himself. In the same way, the nineteenth-century attack on St Paul was really only a stage in the revolt against Christ. Men were not ready in large numbers to attack Christ Himself. They made the normal first move–that of attacking one of His principal ministers. Everything they disliked in Christianity was therefore attributed to St Paul. It was unfortunate that their case could not impress anyone who had really read the Gospels and the Epistles with attention: but apparently few people had, and so the first victory was won. St Paul was impeached and banished and the world went on to the next step–the attack on the King Himself.” (Modern Translations of the Bible)

Father, I pray for the strength (once again, I realize you have already given me that strength, but I must find it) to be the “me” that you have planned for me to be. Not to use it as an excuse to say, “Well, that’s just the way I am, and I can’t change.” Rather, to change into who you want me to be, the real me. For, indeed, I am “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and you have all of my days written in your book.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

I’ll leave you with a song that I plan to sing at our next Night of Worship. It’s a recent song by Matt Maher, called “Your Love Defends Me.”

Grace and peace, friends.