Good morning. Today is Friday, the seventeenth of December, 2021, the third Friday of Advent.
May the peace of Christ be with you!
Only eight more days until Christmas!
I successfully obtained a new fan, yesterday. It seems louder than the old one, which is odd, because it is virtually the same fan, but a different color. We may have to set this one on medium speed, rather than high speed. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with me waking up before 5:30, this morning. I did go to bed a little earlier than usual, last night, but that was because today is a workday for me. I’m working my normal Friday shift, today, 9:15AM to 6:15 PM, in the computer/media center.
Tomorrow, I’ll be working an extra shift, filling in for an associate who needed the day off. I don’t have to adjust anywhere else, because I’m losing sixteen hours out of next week, due to the Christmas holidays. We are closed both Friday and Saturday for Christmas, and I would have been scheduled to work both days.
I made Pecan-crusted Buttermilk Chicken for dinner, last night, so there will be leftovers to take for lunch today. Yum!
I just stumbled across this on the page that opens when I open a new tab in MS Edge. Someone is confused.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
A View of the Unseen, by Daryl Madden
Awake this day A gift to see The light arise One of beauty To pause this day Upon a view To still the soul Of more pursue To pray this day Of vision cast Of way beyond One that will last To know this day Of the unseen To let the Spirit Intervene
Please check out Daryl’s other poetry at the link provided above.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. that my joy is based on You and Your faithfulness, rather than on my circumstances 2. for the strength obtained from meditating on Your Word 3. that You have done great things for us 4. that, no matter how far I may stray, You always bring me back, and have never allowed me to completely lose sight of You 5. that Jesus Christ is the one mediator between You and us, and that He game Himself as a ransom for us
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
(2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV)
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ADVENT – DAY TWENTY
What a beautiful sight! On the mountains a messenger announces to Jerusalem, "Good news! You're saved. There will be peace. Your God is now King." (Isaiah 52:7 CEV)
I pause, briefly, to consider the joy of knowing Jesus, and the strength and endurance obtained by this.
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (Psalms 126:1-6 NIV)
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:1-6 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I remind myself that I am in the presence of God, I read these passages again, noticing how He might be speaking to me through His Word. I dwell on any words or phrases that jump out at me, allowing my heart to respond in prayer. I take refreshment in His presence.
Father, I confess, this morning, that it seems like this “race” has been long, the road, long and winding, kind of like that Beatles song. You have given me endurance, and my joy remains intact, even thought there have been many times it has been threatened. But You have kept me looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, the source of both my faith and my joy. He is the center of my being, and, in Him, I dwell in the center of Your holiness.
I confess, too, that I do not always remain in that center. I frequently stray. Yet You are patient and kind, bearing with me through all of my foolish wanderings. And You have never allowed my feet to stray too far, so far that I lose sight of You completely. I am grateful for this.
I thank You for Jesus, the one true mediator between You and us, and that He has given Himself as a ransom for us, purchasing us with His blood. This, too, gives me great joy, because I know that this purchase was permanent and cannot be reversed.
Help me to be faithful to pray for all people, especially those mentioned in that passage from 1 Timothy, “kings and all those in authority,” so that we may, as Paul said, “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” It truly is Your desire that all people be saved, so I pray to this end, and ask that You help me to be a channel of blessing and grace to everyone with whom I come in contact.
I also specifically pray for those who are living in poverty and injustice on this day. I pray that You would raise up the right people to rescue them. Give us, too, the capacity and willingness to suffer with others. And give extra strength to all who are being persecuted for their faith.
"Lord God, You defy all my tidy categories for understanding You, especially at Christmas. What a paradox the incarnation is - true God and authentic humanity knit into one person, Your Son, Jesus Christ. I worship You for this marvelous mystery - as true God You conquered death by Your power, and as a real human You died for me in the weakness of Your flesh. Amen."
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to save his people. (Luke 1:68 CEV)
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.