Today is Sunday, August 9, 2020, beginning the 19th week in Ordinary Time. Peace be with you!
TEN days until S’s birthday!!
This weekend (technically yesterday), is the Feast of Saint Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order of Priests.
We had a most wonderful visit with my mother, yesterday. There was, unfortunately, no hugging; I don’t even thing we touched at all. But we talked a lot and had a nice lunch of Subway together. It was a great time, and uplifting for all, especially Mama. We had not seen her since some time in April, and that was only for a few minutes.
This morning, we have our virtual gathering of The Church at Brandon and Kristin’s. I just realized, about thirty minutes ago, that it’s my turn to lead. That’s rather embarrassing, but, since we are reading through Revelation as a group, I’ll be okay.
C went and got the groceries yesterday evening, right after we got back from Mineral Wells. That was good to get done and out of the way, so today can truly be a rest day. I’m sure there will be Sonic drinks, but we may have our traditional Saturday brunch for Sunday lunch today.
The Texas Rangers have a win streak! I think it’s the first one of the season! They have beat the Angels twice in a row, winning yesterday’s game by the score of 2-0, with Edinson Volquez as the winner. Hard to believe he is back with the Rangers, again. The Rangers are now 5-8 on the season, in third place in the AL West. They play again today, in Arlington, at 1:25 PM, with Lance Lynn starting. Lynn, in spite of some fantastic pitching, is still 1-0 for the season. The bullpen has not been kind to him.
The Boston Red Sox lost to the Blue Jays, 2-1, to make their record 5-9 for the season. They are currently perched in last place in the AL East. They will play again today at 1:35 (EDT) in Boston, with Nathan Eovaldi starting for the Sox.
The Colorado Rockies, on a three-game win streak, are currently the best team in baseball, with an 11-3 record, .786 percentage. The Cubs (10-3) and Athletics (11-4) are right behind them. The Pittsburgh Pirates are hanging on to the worst spot in baseball, at 3-12, .200 percentage.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
"Father, I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul. I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father." Charles de Foucauld
Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
(Psalms 98:1 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
- For another opportunity for the body of Christ to devote herself to the Apostles’ teachings, prayer, and [virtual] fellowship.
- That Your Name alone is exalted
- That You have raised up strength for Your people (Psalm 148)
- That You don’t call us to keep track of our “works”
- That all of the outcomes are in Your hands
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
(Psalms 67:1 ESV)
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
(Psalms 139:17 ESV)
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalms 118:24 ESV)
And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
(Luke 2:22-35 ESV)
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!
(Psalms 148:7-14 ESV)
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
(Luke 1:46-47 ESV)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
"Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen." (The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)
"Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen." (The Divine Hours, The Concluding Prayer of the Church)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
(1 John 1:1-8 ESV)
The man who wrote this letter encountered the living Christ, personally. He saw Jesus with his own eyes and touched Jesus with his own hands. His testimony is good and acceptable. And he wrote these words so that all who read them may have fellowship with all the saints, throughout all time, and with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
(Psalms 80:8 ESV)
Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
(Psalms 80:14-15 ESV)
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
(John 4:13-14 ESV)
“Only after I remind myself that it’s not my assignment to monitor my contribution toward God’s kingdom do I stop worrying about where the dewdrops fall, how many there are, or if they are absorbed. Instead, I realize it is mine to keep my eyes on the source of the eternal fountain, that continual well that flows through my soul, and let God do the rest.”
(Jacqueline F. Wheelock, Daily Guideposts 2020)
This is tremendous! How much precious energy is wasted trying to keep a tally of how many this and how many that we have done for the Lord? I remember, growing up in the local Baptist Church, the tally board to the left of the sanctuary entrance. How many members; how many attended worship; how many attended Sunday School; how much offering was given. All of these numbers. What was the reason for this?
There are folks to try to keep up with what they have done for God; how many people they have “witnessed to;” how many salvations they have been part of.
We are not called to this kind of accountability. We are called to, as Jacqueline has graciously reminded us, keep our eyes on the Source.
Leave the outcomes to God! He is the one in control of that. Notches on our belt aren’t worth anything, in the grand scheme of things.
Father, help us to keep our eyes you You, our Source for all things, and leave the outcomes to You. We can share Your truth with any number of people, but there is nothing that we can do that can change their hearts or make them follow You. That is entirely up to You, via Your Holy Spirit. Remind us of these things, Lord, and help us to make Your character and kindness the heartbeat of our souls, as we walk in Your kingdom, day by day.
I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.