Today is Friday, the eighth of October, 2021.
May the peace of God reign in your lives today!
Only four more days until our 36th wedding anniversary!
As expected, not a lot happened yesterday. The wrong teams won both of the ALDS games. Of course, for me, in the White Sox/Astros series, there is no “right team.” And the Rays shut out the Red Sox, 5-0. I’m not terribly surprised, because I don’t expect the Sox to beat them. But the Sox got nine hits, while the Rays only got six, yet they couldn’t manage to plate a run. Oh, well. Another chance tonight. All four series play today. OtherSox v. Astros at 1:07, Braves v. Brewers at 3:37, Red Sox v. Rays at 6:02, and Dodgers v. Giants at 8:37.
We talked about things that we might like to do this weekend. C is itching to get back into some of our old activities, but most of them, she probably can’t (or shouldn’t) do, yet. We finally decided to have a run up to Winstar Casino. We looked at trying to get a room for Saturday night, but the tower hotel is booked up, and the only rooms available at the “Inn” were $299. No thanks. We have coupons for $50 each of “bonus play,” and $25 meal vouchers for each of us. So we will probably head up there before lunch, play a while and have a nice meal up there, somewhere.
We finally had the phone call interview with the Social Security Administration, yesterday, regarding what S might be due off of my SS record. Funny how I had no idea that this was even a thing, before they called me, initially about my own application. We learned a bit more. They take what I would be making had I waited until age 67, and S gets half of that. Pending approval from their medical people (they have to examine things to decide if she still qualifies as disabled; we aren’t too concerned about this, as there was a review of this not too long ago for her SSI), she will get $900 and some change. But, when that kicks in, she will stop getting SSI, and she will come off of Medicaid, as well. Then she will be eligible for Medicare.
When C retires, S will automatically get put on her record, because she will get more SS than I do. So now we wait for thirty to sixty days, to see what happens.
I work today, from 9:15 to 6:15, in the computer center. My next shift after today isn’t until Tuesday evening.
Last night, I cooked Mexican Street Corn Chicken, from Emily Bites. The example looks like this.
Mine looked like this.
Not quite as pretty, but it was a huge hit. The family loved it. So this one will be a keeper. It’s mildly complicated, but not too much. There are a number of ingredients, most of which are spices to coat the chicken before cooking it in the pan. I’m considering alternative ways to cook, though, as I feel like I had to burn the outer coating in order to get the middle of the chicken cooked through.
The corn was frozen corn, cooked in a pan, coated with chili powder, then mixed with mayonnaise, sour cream, queso fresco, and cilantro. I’m also thinking that I might use more corn, next time, as it would not add to the point value of the recipe.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Grace, mercy, and peace; Love, issuing from pure heart; Faithful Lord Jesus. (1 Timothy 1)
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the LORD,
the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”
Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.
(1 Chronicles 16:34-36 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for grapes 2. for Your kindness, shown to all people on earth 3. that I have the righteousness of Christ imputed to me (because all of my "righteousness" is filthy rags) 4. that because of my trust in You, I have nothing to dread or be worried about 5. for Your very great and precious promises; may we place more stock in them than in what we see with our eyes
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK TWENTY – DAY SIX
He loves justice and fairness, and he is kind to everyone everywhere on earth.
(Psalms 33:5 CEV)
Father, may Your presence be strong in this place as I read Your Word, this morning.
The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory.
(Psalms 97:1-6 NIV)
Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.
(Psalms 97:11-12 NIV)
The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”
(2 Samuel 12:1-7A NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I continue to seek Your presence, may Your Holy Spirit guide my meditations and prayers as I linger over these passages.
In another of the “orphan” psalms, Psalm 97 presents a formidable picture of God. His power is intimidating. Yet, the earth should be glad, the “distant shores rejoice.” Even though He is surrounded by clouds and thick darkness, we can still see that the foundation of His throne is made up of righteousness and justice.
The next few verses should inspire terror in the enemies of our God. Fire comes out from Him; it consumes His enemies; lightning flashes; the earth trembles; the mountains “melt like wax.” But in all of this, the people of the earth witness the glory of God.
I see a contrast in verse 11. “Light shines on the righteous.” As opposed to the flashing lightning of the storm that “lights up the world,” in verse 4, which has a terrifying effect, the “light” that is seen in verse 11, to me, produces a warming, calming effect. It illuminates constantly, while the lightning in verse 4 only illuminates for a second or two, but plunges one back into darkness, as the soul anxiously awaits the noise of the thunder that comes afterward.
It’s possible that I am way off base, here, but it is what I see in this psalm, and, in the words of Paul the Apostle, I believe that I, too, have the Spirit of God.
The end result of all of this, in verse 12, is that the righteous rejoice, and praise His Holy Name.
Who are the “righteous?” We should understand that it is those who have received the righteousness of Jesus Christ, imputed into their lives. What does “imputed” mean? “Ascribe to someone by virtue of a similar quality in another.”
I have no righteousness of my own. Any perceived righteousness that I might think I have is no better than filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But because I have called on the name of Jesus, I have His righteousness imputed to me.
Therefore, when the lightning flashes, when the clouds and thick darkness blur my vision, I have nothing to fear. I may tremble, true, and should, probably. “Fear” is a strange characteristic. When Scripture tells us that perfect love casts out fear, the word used is the same word where we get “phobia.” The Old Testament word, such as in Isaiah 41:10, is a word that implies dread. So we should not, because of our trust in the Lord, have any phobias or dreads in our lives. This also, to me, implies worry. In fact, it may be the primary meaning behind such passages as Isaiah 41:10.
It is as if the Lord is saying to us, “Don’t worry; I got this.”
Father, I praise You for Your reign on the earth; I honor and worship Your glory and righteousness, and rejoice, along with the “distant shores.” Even though, at times, clouds and thick darkness surround You, You still shine Your light on us, that we might rejoice, that we might have hope, and that we might not fear or dread anything in this life. Even though fire comes out from You to destroy Your foes, and we may tremble when we see such, we proclaim Your righteousness, along with the heavens, and we bow down before Your glory.
Modern man, Father, is hard pressed to “bow down” before anything, today, even those who call upon Your Name. We are too proud. I pray for Your Church, during these days, that humility might be our benchmark, our primary quality as we face this world. Crush our pride, Lord; destroy it with the cross of Christ. Put us through Your cleansing fire and remove all dross from our gold. Refine us; revive us; show us Your glory once again.
May we all have the Christlike ability to deny ourselves and serve others. May we have the commitment to do justice and love mercy.
"Merciful God, give me the grace to admit, every day, that I am the sinner, that I stand guilty before You. When the latest spiritual fad promises me the key to finding real life, let me calmly pass by that advice and come back to the simple truth that I am a sinner You freely forgive for the sake of Jesus Christ my Savior. Amen."
(I couldn’t help thinking of The Prayer of Jabez when I read that prayer.)
God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to eat or drink. They will be given what they want!
(Matthew 5:6 CEV)
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
(Colossians 3:2 NIV)
He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken! In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God! We trusted in him, and he saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”
(Isaiah 25:8-9 NLT)
And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
(Revelation 22:5 NLT)
C. S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, said:
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
We are like Ginger Rue’s (Daily Guideposts) dog, who hesitates to get in the car because she would rather walk around the immediate neighborhood, forgetting that she is being taken to a wonderful dog park, where she can run and jump and play with other dogs and their humans.
Father, forgive us for being too easily pleased!
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!
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. (Kyrie)
Grace and peace, friends.