Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

Today is Thursday, December 24, 2020, in the fourth week of Advent.

Peace be with you!

Day 22,932

Today is Christmas Eve. One more day until Christmas.

I’ve just discovered some more interesting facts related to the number of days I’ve been alive. For example, at the exact moment of this typing, I am 62 years, 9 months, 11, days, 13 hours, and 29 minutes old. I’ve probably slept for about 7644 days, or 21 years.

Okay, that seems like a lot, doesn’t it? But if you consider that you sleep an average of eight hours a day, that is one third of your life, isn’t it? That seems like such waste, as much as I like sleep. And now, I’m wondering . . . did Adam and Eve have to sleep?

Hold on a minute . . . I need more coffee.

While I was in the kitchen, C and I decided that I’ve probably only slept about 15 years. It’s been a long time since I have averaged eight hours of sleep per day.

For a really big number, I’ve been alive 33,022,080 minutes.

Whew. I’m suddenly very tired.

All of these interesting facts can be found at this birthday website.

We plan to leave for Mineral Wells around 11:00-11:30, this morning. I have a haircut appointment (with C) at 10:30, this morning. It’s been a while since the locks have been shorn, and I’m looking pretty ragged. Which also makes me look like a crotchety old man.

Other plans have changed, apparently. The power is out at R’s workplace, this morning, so no one can do any work, even those who work remotely. So, now, it looks like R & J will be able to meet us at Grandma’s today. They still plan to stay outside and masked, but we will at least be all together and be able to exchange all our gifts today, at the same time. I think I will take a camera and tripod and see if I can get a group picture. That could be a challenge, if we all stay six feet apart. Maybe it could be in a diagonal line. This could be interesting.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

“O sweet Child of Bethlehem,
grant that we may share with all our hearts
in this profound mystery of Christmas.
Put into the hearts of men and women this peace
for which they sometimes seek so desperately
and which you alone can give to them.
Help them to know one another better,
and to live as brothers and sisters,
children of the same Father.
Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness and purity.
Awaken in their hearts
love and gratitude for your infinite goodness.
Join them all together in your love.
And give us your heavenly peace. Amen.”

— Pope John XXIII

Scriptures and Prayers from The Divine Hours

Psalms 95:6-7 ESV
(6) Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
(7) For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Today I am grateful:

  1. To be alive and breathing
  2. For the season of Christmas, bringing thoughts of new life and second chances
  3. For my family, and the love that is shared among us
  4. That my heart is glad because I trust in Your name
  5. For Your peace

Psalms 90:12 ESV
(12) So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalms 18:2 ESV
(2) The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalms 101:6 ESV
(6) I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.

John 5:31-36 ESV
(31) If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.
(32) There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true.
(33) You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.
(34) Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.
(35) He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
(36) But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.

Psalms 33:13-22 ESV
(13) The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
(14) from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
(15) he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
(16) The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
(17) The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
(18) Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
(19) that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
(20) Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
(21) For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
(22) Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
(Psalms 70:1 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.

"Purify my conscience,
Almighty God,
by your daily visitation,
that your Son Jesus Christ,
at his coming,
may find in me a mansion prepared for himself;
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)

Luke 2:13-14 ESV
(13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
(14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Romans 15:13 ESV
(13) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Deuteronomy 10:21 ESV
(21) He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen.

Jeremiah 32:27 ESV
(27) “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

Once again, I come around to peace.

These are recurring themes in my daily blog, and I’m okay with that. Honestly, I couldn’t care less if my readers are okay with it or not. Sounds cold, I know, but, hey. The main and most important purpose of this blog thing is what God is speaking to me. And today, again, He is speaking “peace” to me.

Peace in this troubled world. Peace in the midst of pandemic. Peace in the midst of political asininity. Peace that passes all understanding. The peace that Jesus leaves with us.

In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” Then, later in the chapter, He says,

John 14:27 ESV
(27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Today, I have peace. In many ways, this peace is inexplicable. But I believe I have the explanation. What troubles me is that I see a lot of people who claim to be following Christ who have a total absence of peace in the midst of all of this. I believe they have their eyes on the wrong things and the wrong people. I pray for them daily.

Jesus gives us peace. Donald Trump has not given us peace. Joe Biden will not give you peace. Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can give you peace.

Psalms 145:10-21 ESV
(10) All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
(11) They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power,
(12) to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
(13) Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.]
(14) The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.
(15) The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
(16) You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
(17) The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.
(18) The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
(19) He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
(20) The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
(21) My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Father, I praise You for Your peace, which I have received by the grace and mercy and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and inhabited by the Holy Spirit. I didn’t say that quite right, but I am confident that You know exactly what I mean. My heart is never quite united in You, Lord. For that, I am sorry. Please keep working in there to weed out the junk and unite my heart to fear Your name. Nevertheless, I have peace, not which the worlds gives, but which Jesus gives. Peace in the midst of the many storms that have threatened us in 2020. Personally, I don’t look for 2021 to be any better. But that really doesn’t matter, because I have You and You are enough. Thank You and praise You, Lord. I love You.

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!

Grace and peace, friends.

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