Seeds of Joy

Good morning. Today is Saturday, the nineteenth of March, 2022, in the second week of Lent.

May the peace of Christ fall on you, today.

Day 23,382

Funny story, but not. The Computer Center manager and I started going through my PC, yesterday morning. He determined, right away, that it was not my hard drive, and thought it was a fan hitting something. So we cleaned and sprayed air, everywhere. Finally, the noise stopped. We celebrated. I took the PC back out to the car and finished the day.

Got home from work, unloaded everything, and we had dinner. Then I came back here to the study an plugged the PC back in, and it started making the noise again. I was quite upset. In the process of checking it out again, I tilted it forward, toward the front. The noise stopped. I set it back down on its bottom, the noise started. Something, I believe, is rattling or vibrating. So the PC is currently sitting on its front, with the rear panel facing up. I don’t believe this hurts anything, based on what I can read on the Internet, because there is still ample ventilation space for the fans. Everything else seems to be working fine.

C is taking Mama back home, today, but only for a few hours. They will pick up any held mail, and begin the change of address process for her to move in, permanently with us. There will be many trips, back and forth, in the coming weeks, and we will likely be renting a truck, maybe next Saturday, to move some of the bigger things that she wants to bring here, like her recliner and other things. And we will likely have an estate sale, when we finally figure out what we want to keep and what we want to let go. Prayers for sanity and patience and endurance would be appreciated. 🙂

This is my Saturday to work, so I will be in the circulation department, today. I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing an old friend, yesterday, during my lunch time. One of my best friends from my high school days lives and works in Hurst, and was at the library, so we got to chat for a few minutes. That was nice.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

A Song of Ascents. 
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 
He will not let your foot be moved; 
he who keeps you will not slumber. 
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. 
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 
The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in 
from this time forth and forevermore.
(Psalms 121:1-8 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the peace that God gives me in challenging circumstances
2. for the unlimited forgiveness that God gives (and expects from us, in return)
3. that God makes known to me the path of life; that there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore in His presence
4. for the fame and awesome deeds of the Lord, and that He does not grow weary when we ask Him to repeat them
5. for the mystical relationship between Christ, believers, and the Church

Today’s prayer word is “again.”

LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
(Habakkuk 3:2 NIV)

Of course, the word “again” is not in that verse. But the verse is asking the Lord to do something again, to repeat it. Many of us remember times when our children, when younger, would ask us to do things again. And again. And again. We, of course, grew tired and needed rest. But our God does not grow tired. He who watches over us does not slumber or sleep (Psalm 121). And, as we famously know, His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). So He does not get tired or weary when we ask Him to repeat His great deeds. In fact, I believe that He rather likes it.

(From Pray a Word a Day)

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

This is one of my favorite verses. It is rich with meaning, yet simple to remember. It displays completeness in the presence of God, which, at my best moments, I experience. I have known that fullness of joy and those pleasures forevermore. Well, I haven’t known them “forevermore,” yet, have I? But I look forward to that. And through all of this, the Lord makes the path of life known to me, just as He has made it known to all of us. That path lies through the faith in Jesus Christ, walking through this world, in His kingdom, in His “easy yoke.”

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalms 118:24 ESV)

Eugene H. Peterson writes about seeds. First, he describes the Word of God as “the seed of the Christian.” The Parable of the Sower describes this, as Jesus tells it in Matthew 13. God’s Word comes into our lives “with divine power and can, if received rightly, multiply and produce itself in a great harvest to God’s glory.” That Word gives us “reason, strength, direction, and sense,” and makes it possible for us to live “a new life in Christ.”

But Peterson also describes the Christian as “the seed of the church.” This is a little more mystical, I think. He says, “The Christian is to the church what the Word of God is to the Christian. . . . The church is not just an aggregate of Christians. It is not simply a collective term for talking easily about many individuals who have similar beliefs about God.” (For one thing, our beliefs may or may not be all that similar.) But the Church, as the Body of Christ, is organic, an entity unto itself.

This is not visible, of course. It cannot be seen from the outside, just by looking. We cannot tell if someone is a Christian just by looking at them, “because the life of Christ is a hidden life. it is revealed in many particular visible expressions, true, but its essence is hidden.” The Church looks, visibly, just like any other organization or institution. Unfortunately, in some cases, it acts that way, too. “But from the Word of God, we know something else is really taking place. It is an organic spiritual body, with Christ as head and all of us are members. As we are incorporated into it, we live lives not our own. We become participants in the church’s life. We become seeds.”

(From On Living Well, by Eugene H. Peterson)

Father, I thank You for Your presence in my life. I am grateful that You make known to me the path of life, that there is fullness of joy in Your presence, and that there are pleasures forevermore at Your right hand. I look forward to experiencing those, not only in this life, but when I finally arrive Home.

I am thankful for Your great deeds and the awe for You that Your Spirit has grown into my life. I do ask You to repeat Your marvelous works in our world and in our lives. Help me to remember the great things that You have done for Your people, over the centuries, that I might ponder them and ask You to do them again. I thank You for the peace You place in my life, and ask You to keep it constant, especially through these uncertain times, times when new things are happening in our lives.

I thank You for that mystical relationship between us, Christ, and the Church. It is not always easy to comprehend, but it something that we can certainly ponder and contemplate, to our benefit. It is something that we will never fully comprehend, until that day when the shadows are removed from our eyes and we know as we are known.

All glory to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

"Love one another;
This is how they know you're Mine;
Love one another."
(Inspired by John 13:34-35)

Grace and peace, friends.

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