Today is Monday, the twenty-second of August, 2022, in the 21st week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ reign in your heart!
Only fourteen days until Labor Day in the U.S.
Yesterday was about as perfect as it could be. Okay, maybe not quite, but it was still a great day, and the birthday girl was as pleased as she could be, so that makes it perfect.
We got away a little bit late, but still made it to church on time. After the worship service, we touched base with the pastor, got his address, and then headed over to Taqueria La Estrella. Except we couldn’t get into the restaurant, as it was so packed that there wasn’t even a parking place. We had noticed that there was a new Mexican restaurant in the nearby shopping center, so we decided to check it out. It was called Sabor a Mexico. I have just learned that “sabor” means “taste.” So, “Taste of Mexico.”
Our experience was delightful! The food was delicious. C loved the hot sauce, which is how she judges a Mexican restaurant. Mama had the cheese quesadillas, which were delicious, and even a little bit crispy. S had cheese enchiladas with queso sauce, and queso on the rice. Plus we had a bowl of queso.
We love queso.
I had a dish called Pollo Sabor a Mexico (I think . . . it was something like that), which was somewhat fajita-like. Seasoned chicken pieces, mixed with green and red peppers, onions, and jalapenos. It was quite delicious. And C had the chicken enchiladas, which she said were good, but the chicken didn’t have much flavor. Hers was the only slightly negative review.
After lunch, we dropped Mama off at her house, and headed out to the pastor’s house, which is across the Brazos River, west of town. He has a very large place, and has a horse, a donkey, and some rabbits, as well as some dogs and cats. S was able to brush both the horse and the donkey, we all fed them both some treats and some hay, and then S got to walk the horse around (with the assistance of the pastor’s daughter). Then she got to pet a rabbit. Oh, and then they gave us ice cream!
It was a wonderful time, and S claims it was her best birthday ever. We stopped at Andy’s custard shop on the way home, and then, for a final delight, our friend who makes t-shirts had S’s shirt ready, with her newest cat’s picture on it.
We were all exhausted, but it was a most excellent day.
This morning, S and I have to take Princess (Guinea pig) back to the vet to have that eye checked out to see if it is getting better. I will likely not be finished with the blog, so it will be published later, this morning.
Update: We got a good report on Princess. The vet says the eye looks much better. We are to continue the eyedrops and ointment, but only three times a day for the drops and once a day for the ointment. The oral antibiotics can stop.
The Texas Rangers blanked the Twins, yesterday, 7-0. Kohei Arihara allowed only four hits during his six innings, and the bullpen stepped up and finished the job. They are now 55-66 for the season, and are over .500 since Tony Beasley took over as interim manager. They are 22 games out of first place, and 10.5 out of a Wild Card spot. In a rare beyond-the-weekend series, they have a final game with the Twins tonight at 6:10 CDT, in Minnesota. Then they head over to Colorado for a two-game series with the Rockies.
The Red Sox lost to the Orioles, 5-3, which means they lost the series. They are now 60-62 for the season, in last place in the AL East, fourteen games out of first place, and six out of a Wild Card spot. They are off today, and begin a series with Toronto tomorrow, in Boston.
The Dodgers, etc. etc.. 84-36, +264 run differential. Nationals, etc. etc.. 41-82, -209 run differential. Cardinals still now have a seven-game winning streak. Miami, providing the only change in today’s stats, now has a four-game losing streak. The Rangers are back in the positive in run differential, with +4. And the Red Sox have sunk to -37.
The weather, yesterday, held out long enough for us to get the critter visits over with. It started raining on us, on the way home, sometimes heavily. When we got home, we saw that it had rained some, but nowhere near as heavily as we drove through. However, sometime around 9:00 PM, last night, the monsoons began, and they are still going on. It rained heavily both to and from the vet clinic, this morning, and is still pouring. Flash flood warnings are in effect all around. The receptionist at the vet’s office said, “All the prayers are being answered all at once.” That’s a pretty good assessment, in my opinion.
Yesterday’s high was 87, and we got about three or four inches of rain. We have had over 4.5 inches already, today. The record high for yesterday’s date is 105. Today’s high is expected to be 78. Overnight, there is only a 24% chance of more rain.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, as the deer pants for refreshing water, so our souls long for you, O God. Our souls thirst for you, for the living God. We stand in your presence and pour out our hearts to you. We bring before you everything that is painful to us, all our suffering and needs. We also bring you all our hopes and the many proofs you have given us that our lives need not go to ruin but can be directed to greater things. May the light of your Spirit shine on us today and always. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalms 42:1-2, 5 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for rain 2. for a good report on Princess, the guinea pig 3. that I stand before You, in grace, and can pour out my heart to You, being confident that You will direct me to greater things 4. that our Father will provide enough for just this day; may we be faithful to trust Him for tomorrow 5. that God is slow to anger (and expects us to be, as well)
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
(John 5:15-18 ESV, emphasis added)
And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. “As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.”
(Zechariah 7:8-14 ESV)
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
(Proverbs 14:29 ESV)
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)
And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.”
(Exodus 16:2-4 ESV)
As we read the Biblical accounts, we see that God’s people, unfortunately, have a bad history of grumbling. And, if we keep reading, we see that there were even some who disobeyed this simple command to gather only enough for one day.
In Zechariah, God’s people were told to do a number of things, many of which are echoed by Jesus in His words, and many of which fall under the category of “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Render true judgments Show kindness and mercy to one another Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor Don't devise evil against another in your heart
How are God’s people doing at those things, in our modern day?
Then, in Proverbs, we see that whoever is slow to anger has “great understanding.” God, as it turns out, is slow to anger.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
(Nahum 1:3 ESV)
If God Almighty is slow to anger, should we not be, as well? Considering that we are supposed to be like Him?
As God began to tell Moses about this strange new food that would be appearing on the ground, each morning, He told Moses to tell the people that there would be just enough for each day. “Enough for that day: Such was the rule for God’s giving and man’s receiving of provision in the wilderness. It is still the law in all the dealings of God’s grace with His children.” (Andrew Murray, Power in Prayer)
How long must we deal with our current affliction? Only one day at a time, says God. His grace is sufficient, His provision is sufficient for one day at a time.
“Only today is ours; tomorrow is the Father’s alone.” (Murray)
“Accept, enjoy, and fulfill with your whole heart the part you have to perform this day. His presence and grace enjoyed today will remove all doubt as to whether you can entrust tomorrow to Him as well.” (Murray)
Father, there is so much in Your Word that teaches us this truth that You provide us enough for just this day. Your instructions to Moses; Jesus’s teachings on faith and trusting You and not worrying about tomorrow; Jesus’s model prayer, telling us to ask for our “daily bread” for today, for just this day.
How it must hurt Your own heart to see how small our faith is, just like those Israelites who didn’t pay attention and tried to store up extra manna for the next day. We ruin today’s joy be worrying about things that may never come, or by not trusting that You are fully able to provide enough for today, and then again, enough for tomorrow’s “today.”
You have told us that You will do this, and, it is my belief, that by telling us to pray for this day’s daily bread, Jesus implies that You will answer that prayer and provide it.
You, O Lord, are indeed slow to anger. How well I know this, personally. I pray that You would work in our hearts, that we might be slow to anger, as well, and, thereby, display great understanding about things, in general. I know too many people who seem to be angry about everything. This displays a great lack of understanding. And, as for me, I know that, the older I get, the more I know that I don’t know.
Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. You are truly my Shepherd, and I can live this life without lack because of this. In Your presence, there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand, there are pleasures forevermore.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.