Today is (I had to stop and thing) Saturday, August 27, 2022, in the 21st week of Ordinary Time.
Peace be with you!
It’s going to be a busy, but fun, day today. We start out with C’s company “picnic,” from 11:00 – 2:00. I put picnic in quotes because it is mostly inside, this year. They are having it at the ITRC facility, and will have food trucks outside (all free for us), bowling available, as well as tours of the museum and Hall of Fame. And, for additional treats, Steel City Pops will be there. I’m sure we will have a limited amount of choices, but I do hope they bring some peach pops.
After the picnic, we will be home for a couple hours, after which we will head to a good friend’s house, where we have been invited for dinner. Mama will be going with us for that. We don’t know what’s for dinner, but feel confident that it will be delicious.
Weather continues to be pretty mild, here, especially for this time of year. Yesterday’s high was 93, which is just shy of the average for that date. The record high for the date is 104. I’ve started looking at multiple sources, and will, going forward, use the record highs and lows from a different source, because it gives a year. But I can only see the current date for that, so today’s record high is 106, back in 2011. I don’t remember much about that year, but it must have been hotter than this year, or at least hotter later, because a lot of the record temps seem to be coming from that year.
The forecast for the next ten days shows three days in the mid-nineties, three in the lower nineties, followed by four days in the upper eighties.
The Texas Rangers won a rare one-run game, last night, beating the Detroit Tigers 7-6. Texas scored all of their runs in the first three innings. As is par for the course, the bullpen (mostly Leclerc) tried to blow it. I really wish they would stop giving the ball to Leclerc. The Rangers are now 58-67 (nine games below .500), still in third place in the AL West. They are 22 games out of first place, and 10.5 out of a Wild Card spot. At this point, I think we are just hoping they can get up to .500 before the end of the season. They play the Tigers again, today, at 6:05 CDT.
The Red Sox ended the Rays’ winning streak, in spite of the Rays surging with four runs in the top of the eighth inning. Final 9-8. Go figure. The Red Sox are now 61-65, still in last place in the AL East. They are 17 games out of first place, and eight out of a Wild Card spot. They play Tampa again today, at 4:10 EDT.
The Dodgers won again, making their MLB-leading record 87-37. The Nationals lost, making their record 42-84, 3.5 games worse than the struggling Oakland team. The Yankees (BOO) and Phillies are both enjoying a five-game winning streak. The Rangers have a two-game streak, currently. The Pirates are finally alone in the losing streak column, having lost six in a row. Nothing has changed in the differential column, other than the numbers on both ends getting higher. The Dodgers are now at +279, while the Nats are -213. The Rangers are now at +17, and the Red Sox at -44.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
We thank you, dear Father in heaven, that you let the light from your face shine into our hearts. Look upon our time, we pray, with your clear, penetrating eyes, and let all people sense that they are watched over by more than they are able to see. Let them realize that a strong God and Father is watching over them. Protect us on our way, and let your light shine ever more brightly, so that in all we do your name is glorified. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me. (Psalms 27:7-9a NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- for the light of God, the Light of the world, that shines brightly in our lives
- that the Lord hears when I call; He is merciful!
- for this pilgrimage, this journey into the heart of God
- for the ministry of Renovare and their inspirational writings
- for the joy of simply being
“As Never Before,” by S. Michaels/Lightwriters
Expect divine reversal a coming into Promise a whole new joy in being ©2022 S. Michaels Always Believe (Prophetic Haiku 7-7-7)
As I read this little poem, this morning, I was struck with the line about “joy in being.” Such a simple, yet complex thought. Simple, because we should all be blessed with that joy, the joy of simply being. Complex because it’s not as easy as all that. But as we seek His face, as encouraged by Psalm 27, that joy becomes easier to find.
One of my favorite verses in Psalms is 16:11.
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)
You see, as we seek His face (which He is not hiding from us), we will experience that “fullness of joy,” that is found in His presence, and those “pleasures forevermore” at His right hand. These are not at all dependent upon circumstances; in fact they transcend circumstances.
Please check out more of Susan’s beautiful poetry at the link provided above.
I came across an article from Renovare, this morning, written by Rev. Laura Rasmussen. The article is called “Always Look for the Light.” In it, among other things, Rev. Rasmussen talks about pilgrimage. I found this to be very enlightening.
“As a pilgrim, I am journeying to the heart of God. To journey to the heart of God is to journey to that divine spark of light, of life, within me. Pilgrimage is not about arriving quickly and efficiently to the destination, it is about giving space and time, attention and love to the actual journey towards an intended destination.”
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 ESV)
“To walk in the light of Christ,” says Rev. Rasmussen, “is pilgrimage—navigating us to the heart of God.”
Jesus also understands our vulnerabilities, as we walk through this world. There are things that are going to distract us from the Light. Daily life, daily tasks, unexpected circumstances. “It’s not Jesus’ nature to shame us and alienate us in our vulnerabilities. Instead, his nature is to light our way through our vulnerabilities and into the abundance of his life. Jesus is all about bringing us back to the heart of God, to our true self. On the way we are met, loved, healed and transformed in this divine light.”
May the Light of the world illuminate your pilgrimage!
So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.”
(John 7:16-18 ESV)
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
(Isaiah 54:10 ESV)
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
(James 1:26 NIV)
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
(Psalms 19:14 NIV)
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.
(Proverbs 21:23 NIV)
In light of the last three Scripture references, I want to share some words from Henri Nouwen.
"In Jesus, no division existed between his words and his actions, between what he said and what he did. Jesus’ words were his action, his words were events. They not only spoke about changes, cures, new life, but they actually created them. In this sense, Jesus is truly the Word made flesh; in that Word all is created and by that Word all is re-created. "Saintliness means living without division between word and action. If I would truly live in my own life the word I am speaking, my spoken words would become actions, and miracles would happen whenever I open my mouth."
And, to kind of wrap all this up, here are some words from Andrew Murray: “We are continually praising or thanking God by our actions and by the manner in which we treat others. At times God cannot hear the prayer of your lips because the worldly desires of your heart cry out much more loudly and strongly.”
Our life, indeed, exerts a profound influence over are prayers. But if we walk in the Light of the world and allow the light from God’s face to shine into our lives, we are delivered from this, and we can pray without hindrance. In that, as we journey on this pilgrimage, we can truly experience the simple joy of being.
Father, I am thankful for the words of all of these people that have been represented here, today. From the poetry of Susan Michaels, to the writing of Rev. Rasmussen, to the words of Andrew Murray and Henri Nouwen, all of it seen through the lens of Scripture and illuminated by the Light of the world, Your Son, Jesus.
I pray for this “joy of being” to be displayed in my life, today, and every day, going forward. Whenever circumstances threaten this, help me to remember that I am on a pilgrimage into Your heart, with the way illuminated by Your light that shines from Your face, which I am constantly seeking. Your face will I seek, O Lord! Do not hide Your face from me!
I praise You for the everlasting nature of Your covenant with us. We walk in the confidence that Your covenant will never be removed from us, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
(Acts 2:42 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.