Can We Agree?

Today is Wednesday, the fourteenth of September, 2022, in the 24th week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ dwell in your heart today!

Day 23,561

It’s only eight days until the beginning of Autumn! Unfortunately, the projected high for that day is now 93 degrees. Oh, well. It will start dropping soon.

Yesterday’s high only reached 89, though, and it was predicted to be 91. It’s nice when that happens. The mornings have been cooler, lately, being in the upper sixties for daily lows. Today’s record high, reached in 2011, is 100. The next ten days are mostly in the lower nineties, with one day (tomorrow) showing 89. There is little to no rain forecast.

The Texas Rangers came from behind and beat the Oakland Athletics 8-7, last night, on a walk-off home run by Mark Mathias. They were behind 7-2 at one point. It’s a rarity to see them win a one-run game, this season. They are now 62-80 on the season, holding on to third place in the AL West. They are 30 games out of first place (eliminated), and 17.5 out of the Wild Card race. The MLB standings pages is currently not displaying elimination numbers. They play Oakland again today, at 7:05 PM CDT, in Arlington. There are twenty games remaining.

The Boston Red Sox lost to the Yankees, 7-6, in ten innings. They are now 69-73, in last place in the AL East, 17 out of first place, and 10.5 out of the Wild Card race. They play NY again tonight at 7:10 PM EDT, in Boston. They also have twenty games remaining.

Albert Pujols still has 697 home runs.

The Dodgers continue to have a shot at breaking that win record. Their MLB leading record is 98-43. With 21 games left, they must win 19 of those to beat the record. The Nationals lost again, making their MLB-worst record 49-93. they have a decent shot at losing 100 games. The Cleveland Guardians have a five-game winning streak, and the Cincinnati Reds have a five-game losing streak. The Dodgers improved their run differential to +320. The Nationals have dropped back to the bottom, with -207, two runs below the Pirates. The Rangers are at -16, and the Red Sox are at -34.

This my Wednesday on at the Hurst Public Library. I’m due in at 9:15, which means I need to get rolling, here.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Lord our God, we hope in you. One thing never leaves our hearts, your promise that you will be our God, our God in Jesus Christ. This stands firm, and we want to hold to it in trust and confidence. For your Word remains sure, and all your works lead toward a great and wonderful time when you will be glorified, when our hearts can at last become free because we know you. We can become free from all our own works, free from all trembling and hesitation, free from all suffering and distress, because we know that you, O God, are our Father. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
(Jeremiah 31:33-34 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. that God forgives our wickedness and remembers our sins no more
  2. for the hope of a day when we will be totally free from suffering and distress
  3. for music and song, with which to praise the Lord and worship Him
  4. for the power of united, public prayer when we gather together
  5. that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10)

Sing aloud to God our strength; 
shout for joy to the God of Jacob! 
Raise a song; 
sound the tambourine, 
the sweet lyre with the harp.
(Psalms 81:1-2 ESV)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
(Psalms 40:2 NIV)

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
(Psalms 100:3 NIV)

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
(Matthew 18:19-20 NIV)


Yesterday, I spoke of the need for private prayer, but that it needs to be expanded out into the day, as we take it with us. Today, there is an emphasis on public prayer, but not the kind of public prayer that is showy and self-promoting.

By “public prayer,” I’m not referring to when the head deacon is asked to pray out loud at the end of the worship service. Those are the ones that are typically for show or to get noticed by our flowery speech and eloquence. I’m talking about united prayer, the kind when we gather together and pray together over specific needs that have come to our attention.

Consider, if you will, a massive tree. The roots of the tree are concealed, deep beneath the ground. These are analogous to private prayer, which is where we work at abiding in Jesus and His Word. But the branches and stems and leaves of the tree extend upward, toward the sun. These are analogous to public, gathered prayer, when we pray together.

We need the “prayer closet,” the private time, but we also need the gathered time, with the saints, that we might agree on things and have our prayers answered.

These days, that agreeing part seems to be a major hurdle. But hurdles can be jumped.


Father, I pray for more unity in Your body, that we might be in agreement, at least enough to pray together. I pray that we would be able to set aside disagreements over non-essential ideals (unfortunately, we don’t even seem to be able to agree on that) long enough to be the Church. You have given us work to do, work that was prepared in advance. Help us to accomplish this work. Help us to know that this work is not removing all evil from the world. That is Your job, not ours, and You will do it in Your time.

It’s Your job, because You have a much better understanding (perfect, actually) of what is truly “evil.” Our opinions of what is evil don’t always line up with reality. Just because someone disagrees with me about something doesn’t make them evil.

You give us worth, Lord. We have value because of You and because of Your love for us. That value is not intrinsic. I have no worth of my own, that You did not give me. That is not, in any way, self-hatred. It is acceptance of the reality of my nature and Your love for me. You have lifted us up out of the miry pit of sin, and You have promised that You will remember that sin no more.

So, as we sing to You, and shout Your praises to You in worship of Your Holy name, may we also pray together, united in Your cause and only Your cause. Help me and all others to set aside our personal “causes” to champion Yours, which is that Your glory will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.

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

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!


Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(Philippians 2:3-4 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

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