Today is Saturday, the twenty-ninth of May, 2021, in the first week of Ordinary Time.
Peace be with you!
Two days until Memorial Day, and the long weekend has begun.
Today should prove to be somewhat a relaxing day. We have our grocery order in, and will pick it up right after our WW workshop, which is at 10:30 AM. I should lose somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 pounds since my last weigh-in, which was two weeks ago.
We will, of course, have to make a trip to a different grocery store. There seems to be some kind of conspiracy afoot, which prohibits us from being able to get everything we want/like at the same grocery store. For example, we like Kraft’s fat free shredded cheese, which can be found at Walmart Neighborhood Market or Winco, but not Albertson’s or Kroger. We like Nick’s ice cream, which can only be found at Albertson’s in our area. Albertson’s, apparently, does not carry Del Monte vegetables (at least they aren’t available to order on line), and we like Del Monte’s zesty chili flavor diced tomatoes, which we use in our “homemade” chili on Monday nights. Walmart doesn’t have the brand/type of microwave popcorn that we want.
So you see the dilemma. This week, we placed the online order at Walmart Neighborhood Market, but a trip to Albertson’s (at least) will be necessary for the Nick’s ice cream. Their “Triple Choklad” is the bomb. It’s Swedish ice cream, low fat and sugar, and a whole pint can be eaten for nine WW Smartpoints. I usually eat half of the pint for four points.
Some good news, continued results from our weight loss journey. I checked my blood pressure this morning, and it was 94/59, which is right on the cusp of being too low. The top number is okay, but the bottom is below 60, which is considered low. I shot off a message to my doctor, who replied back, telling me to hold off on my bp meds for today, and resume them tomorrow, but stop taking the hydrochlorothiazide. Continue checking the bp. If it elevates to normal range, stick with the current dose of Lisinopril (40mg) with no HCT. If it stays below 100 on the top, cut the Lisinopril in half.
One of my “whys” for being in WW is to reduce/eliminate medications. So it’s working. I have recently had my diabetes med cut in half, and now the bp med is being reduced. Perhaps, after my next checkup in August, I can eliminate the cholesterol medication, as well. I don’t know, though. I do eat an awful lot of eggs, since they are zero points on our WW plan. Hahaha!
Anyway, as of this morning, in my “birthday suit,” I am 12.8 pounds away from being in “Onederland” (that’s under 200 pounds in WW jargon). Based on my current rate, that should be achievable by the end of July, I think. Which means that, by my next doctor visit, I should be under 200 pounds, even in clothes! That will be call for a great celebration.
Tomorrow, as previously mentioned, we will be heading to Mineral Wells, to FBC, so that S can join the church, as a “non-resident” member. She is very excited about this.
Monday will be a day to rest and refresh. And hopefully get the pool equipment repaired.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
"O Lord, you have mercy on all. Take away my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ’s sake. Amen." (Prayer for A Renewed Heart, St. Ambrose)
The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
(Psalms 22:26 NLT)
Today I am grateful:
1. for another long weekend to rest and refresh 2. for the way I have felt Your presence through this past week 3. for the color purple 4. for the freedom of walking in Your Word 5. that You make everything beautiful in its time
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – DAY 6
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
(Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV)
As I briefly pause, this morning, I am pondering the beauty of colors in the world, and giving thanks to You for all the different colors that we can see.
May your unfailing love come to me, LORD, your salvation, according to your promise;
then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.
I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame,
for I delight in your commands because I love them.
I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees.
(Psalms 119:41-48 NIV)
The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
(Acts 5:12-16 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I read these passages, I linger, inviting the Holy Spirit to direct my thoughts and meditations. What words or phrases speak to me, giving me insight into my relationship with Christ? What do I learn, resting in His presence, this morning?
I am especially drawn to Psalm 119:45, “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” I believe this relates to Jesus’s statement that the truth will set us free. I do believe that there is a certain freedom that is a benefit of walking on the path of God’s Word. If we consider that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, that adds even more to this thought.
Jesus is the Truth, so I can walk in freedom. This does not mean that I can do anything I want to do. There are too many people who mistakenly believe that that is what is meant by “freedom.”
But what it does mean is that I don’t have to worry about what others think about me. It means that I don’t have to conform to the world and its belief systems. It means that I don’t have to be influenced by popular culture. And it means that my only “influencer” is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, holy Trinity.
When I read the passage from Acts, I wonder, as I have before, if we will ever see such testimony of the power of God in our modern society. People were trying to position themselves so that even Peter’s shadow could pass over them! Where is that kind of faith today? Instead, we have the almost comic displays, with people like Benny Hinn and the like.
The only solution I can come up with is more prayer and more centering on God’s Word, focusing on His power in our lives. And it means more righteous living. Not that my righteousness can accomplish anything, because it can’t. But by being attached to the vine, this branch can bear much fruit, and that is the only way that it can bear fruit.
Father, I thank You for the freedom in which I can walk, when I am following Your path, Your Way, which is Jesus and His teachings and example. I have two jobs in my life: to love You and to love people. Everything else is peripheral, including my opinions about things, which are not in the “job description” for those two jobs. Help me to remember that those are my two jobs, the two greatest commands, and that Jesus gave us a “new commandment” to love one another, even more deeply than we love our “neighbor.” Help met to daily walk in that freedom, and show us Your power in our world, Lord! I want to be able to point to Your works and show people, to boast in Your power and majesty!
Jesus, what a wonder you've given me in the Holy Spirit. Not some impersonal energy or vague force but your life, your very presence in me. Thank you for the peace, power, gifts, and all your blessings the Holy Spirit pours out in my life. As you make me share in all Christ's blessings, may I share the miracle and wonder of your life with all. Amen. (Heidelberg Catechism 53)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13 NIV)
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV)
Lord, may we make time, today, tomorrow, and ever day, for what is really important.
Lord, may Your Church flourish throughout the world. May we present worship that glorifies You, and may our worship gather, unite, and bless Your people, as well as everyone else around us. Make us a blessing even to people who do not believe. I especially pray for those who work in caring for the youngest of children. Make their spirits gentle and loving.
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!
You saw that coming, right?
Grace and peace, friends! Shalom Aleichem!