Today is Tuesday, the twenty-third of August, 2022, in the 21st week of Ordinary Time.
Peace be with you!
Weather. Wow. So, apparently, we received more rain in about twelve hours than we had received in the entire month of August since 1915. Based on a graphic I found at iweathernet.com, we got 9.5 inches at our house in, I would say, around thirteen to fifteen hours. Most of that came between 9:00 PM and midnight Sunday night and between about 8:30 and noon-ish yesterday morning. There was so much rain in such a short amount of time that we had water seeping into our house from underneath.
I had discovered a puddle by my side of the bed, when I went to bed Sunday night, but attributed it to one of our cats. It wasn’t real big, and I got it cleaned up and went on to bed. It did not reappear that night. When we left to take Princess (guinea pig) to the vet, yesterday morning, it started raining again. The closer we got to the vet, the harder it rained. And it got harder and harder as we sat in the exam room. It didn’t let up all the way home, and we live roughly ten miles from the clinic.
I came on back here to the study to continue my blog writing. I don’t remember what time, but at some point I got up to use the bathroom, and stepped in water just outside the bathroom door. There was a puddle there, as well as two other small puddles in the bathroom, and one larger one that ran along one bathroom wall. I went back over to where the puddle had been the night before, and, sure enough, it was back. Along with a good bit more water under the bed, along the headboard. The weird thing was that none of the exterior walls were even wet. All of this came from underneath, I guess.
I grabbed a bunch of towels and threw them down anywhere there was water. As they soaked up the water, the rain began to slow down, and there were no new puddles, from that time forward. As I interacted with other people on the book of face, I heard that others had it worse than we did. One person said he woke up to his kids’ room flooded.
Here are some photos from the Washington Post. That’s right. It was so bad we got national attention.
So, the high temperature only reached 79, through all of that. Today, the chance of rain is much slimmer, however, there is a chance of more this evening. I seriously doubt it will be of that magnitude, though. The high today is supposed to reach 80. The record high for yesterday’s date was 105.
The Texas Rangers won the series as they beat the Twins 2-1, yesterday, with some help from the bat of Adolis Garcia, who now has a nineteen game hitting streak. They are now 56-66 (the first time they have been within ten games of .500 in a while), still in third place in the AL West. They are four games ahead of the fourth place Angels. They are 21.5 out of first place, and ten out of a Wild Card spot. They also have a three-game winning streak. Their next game is tonight, in Colorado, at 7:40 CDT.
The Red Sox didn’t play yesterday, and begin a series with Toronto, in Boston tonight.
The Dodgers lost a game, but still have the best MLB record, at 84-37. The Nationals remain the worst MLB team, at 41-82. The Cardinals continue to streak, now at eight games. Speaking of the Cardinals, slugger Albert Pujols is within seven home runs of 700. I’m pulling for him! He seems to be a pretty good guy. There are four teams with three-game losing streaks: The Twins, the Diamondbacks, the Angels, and the Pirates. The Dodgers have a +260 run differential, and the Nats have a -209. The Rangers improved to +5, and the Red Sox remain at -37.
There isn’t much on my agenda for today. Groceries have been ordered, I’ll run out and get Subway for lunch/dinner for the family (and Sonic drinks), and then I’ll go to work at the library at 4:15 for my weekly shelving shift.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, we thank you that you have given us an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We thank you that you have already begun to give us new vision, that already many things are being transformed, so that we may go gladly and confidently on our way with hope for whatever is still unsolved. May all this live in our hearts and fill us with thanks to you. We want to be courageous and keep in sight what still needs to be changed. Then we can take part as workers in your vineyard. May the light you have given us continue to shine in us and burn ever more brightly, as you have promised. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1:10-11 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
1. that the flooding in our house was minor and easily cleaned up 2. that we have been given an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 3. that "all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well" (Julian of Norwich) 4. that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) 5. for the privilege and responsibility of prayer, and that this calling does not come through Moses or the law, but through Jesus Christ and His redemption
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
(John 5:19-24 ESV)
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
(Psalms 46:10 ESV)
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation." (Luke 11:1-4 ESV)
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” ~ Julian of Norwich
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:26-28 ESV)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 ESV)
Jesus has, once again, equated Himself with God, in John’s Gospel. There are some other interesting statements in this passage, as well. For example, in verse 21, Jesus declares that He (the Son) “gives life to whom he will.” And then, in verse 22, Jesus declares that the Father has handed over all judgment to Him. Jesus truly has all authority.
Just as He states at the end of Matthew’s Gospel.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
(Matthew 28:18 ESV)
It has been said that “it’s all about Jesus,” and I believe this to be true. On the other hand, we can look at the relationship between the members of the Holy Trinity, and we see them all pointing toward one another, not at themselves. Jesus points to the Father and sends the Spirit to us (or maybe it’s the Father that sent the Spirit, but waited until after the ascension of Jesus to do so). The Spirit points to the Father and the Son, and the Father points to the Son and sends us the Spirit to dwell within us.
I remember reading a popular book called The Shack, a few years ago. I didn’t care for the book, for the most part. However, I do believe there is one thing the author got right, and that is the depiction of the love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We humans cannot really even begin to comprehend this level of love. But we can try, and we can try to love the way God loves. We are supposed to, in fact.
There is another phrase that Jesus uses in that John 5 passage that should terrify some folks. In verse 23, Jesus says, “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father.”
There it is. Boom.
If you believe that there are “many roads to God,” Jesus declares otherwise. If you believe you can “worship” God without going through Jesus, Jesus declares otherwise. Jesus declares Himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and says that no man comes to the Father but by Him.
If you do not believe these words of Jesus, then you cannot truly think that He was just a “good teacher.” I hearken back to words attributed to C.S. Lewis. There are only three possibilities when we deal with Jesus Christ. 1. He was exactly who He said He was. 2. He was a liar and deceiver. 3. He was insane. Those are the only three choices.
Please know that, as I type these things, I am not typing in arrogance, joyfully hoping that all who read it fail and miss out on the joy that comes in Christ. I try to express these things with humility, hoping that all who read it will know that joy and understand that this life in Christ is not at all tedious or difficult. On the other hand, it is impossible, so there’s that. But God has not made it difficult to find Him, and He desires fellowship in Christ with all people.
As I apply this to my prayer life, I have to know that my calling to prayer does not come through Moses or the law. There is no power for living in that. “Moses and his law have never given anyone the power to obey.” (Andrew Murray, Power in Prayer)
“My prayer life must be brought entirely under the control of Christ and His love. Then for the first time prayer will become what it should be: the natural and joyous breathing of the spiritual life by which the heavenly atmosphere is inhaled and then exhaled in prayer.” (Murray)
Father, I praise You for Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. I thank You for the Son, who has come to set us free, and who gives us power to obey all things, especially in prayer. I thank You for the joyful privilege and responsibility of prayer, and I ask that You make it like breathing for me. Let it be that natural, and that I do it that willingly.
I submit myself to the authority of Jesus, as He has declared that all authority has been given Him by You. He has the power and authority of judgment, as well as the power and authority to give eternal life to whoever He wills. Help me to be a better vessel of the Gospel, as I share the love of You and Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, with people within my sphere of influence, my little “kingdom.” This does not mean that I have to quote bible verses to everyone I meet, but, rather, that I simply need to show the love that is commanded me by Jesus.
Help me to be a true disciple of Christ, who does the things that Jesus said to do, all completely in the love that is shed abroad by You, the Holy Trinity.
I also pray that, as I walk through this life, help me to “be still and know” that You are God. May I never be overwhelmed by the tasks and purposes that this life throws my way, but always be able to stop and be still, to meditate, contemplate, and just know Your presence, and in that presence know the fullness of joy that comes from knowing You.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
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)
Grace and peace, friends.