Today is Saturday, March 17, 2018. St. Patrick’s Day. Day 21,919.
15 days until Resurrection Sunday.
Bertrand Russell (not his birthday), said, “A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation.” The Quotations Page
The word for today is craic (pronounced “krak”), a noun which means, “fun and entertainment, especially good conversation and company.” Also, “mischievous fun; laughs.” The word, fittingly, as its origins in Ireland and England.
My doctor visit went well, yesterday, and, thankfully, didn’t take very long. I’ve already received most test results, which came out normal and good. The only one I’m still waiting on is the most important one, the blood sugar/glucose/A1C measurement. At my last visit, which was last May, it was over 8, which is not good. They want it definitely below 7 and closer to 6 (my memory is fuzzy, there). I’ve dropped a few pounds since my last visit, and we’ve been, for the most part, eating more healthy in 2018, so I’m confident that it will be down, just not sure how far. My last home check for my glucose level was 148, which is still a little elevated, but below 150, which is much better.
After I got home, I worked on music for tonight’s Night of Worship, then S and I went out to her favorite Mexican restaurant, Martha’s. So much for eating more healthy. 😀
As mentioned, previously, we have our monthly Night of Worship tonight, and the host has a new house. They are very excited about having the first NoW there tonight. I have to say, this family is legit when it comes to worship. As they were looking for a new house, the specifically looked for a good space for the worship gathering. They looked at a house that was right around the corner from us, but the only suitable space for NoW was upstairs. I’m glad they didn’t pick that one. I’ll gladly drive a few extra miles so as to not have to haul gear upstairs. And another thing. Their anniversary was this week. And instead of going on a weekend trip to celebrate, they are having Night of Worship. I have to say that says something about this couple.
I’m also waiting on one last “birthday present.” It is supposed to be delivered today. I’m not telling, yet, what it is. I’ll share it soon.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
All day, yesterday, that one phrase was going through my head, the one that yesterday’s blog centered around. Mark 9:23. “All things are possible for one who believes.” I can’t get that out of my head, and I suppose that is a good thing. I’m certainly not, and have never been, a “name it/claim it” Christian. I don’t see God’s promises as a blank check for me to get whatever I want. On the other hand, these words of Jesus carry weight that we, as the Church, seem to have failed to fully grasp. I hope that this phrase will be stuck in my head (and heart) for the rest of my life.
To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me;
deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men.
For behold, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up strife against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O LORD,
for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Awake, come to meet me, and see!
You, LORD God of hosts, are God of Israel. Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah.
Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.
There they are, bellowing with their mouths with swords in their lips— for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?”
But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision.
O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
Kill them not, lest my people forget; make them totter by your power and bring them down, O Lord, our shield!
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies that they utter,
consume them in wrath; consume them till they are no more, that they may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah.
Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.
They wander about for food and growl if they do not get their fill.
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.
Saul is trying to kill David. This happened a lot. So, naturally, David prays for protection. But notice where this Psalm ends up. “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
Those are some powerful words. And that’s what we will be doing tonight at Brandon’s house. We will be singing aloud of the steadfast love of God. Not because anyone is trying to kill us (at least I hope not), but we all have our own “enemies,” those things that would keep us from truly worshiping God and serving him; those things that would hinder our walk with Jesus. Sometimes, they are sin-related, but sometimes they are just things that happen in the life of a person. And we will sing, anyway. Because God is our fortress and our refuge. Reminds me of one of the songs I’ll be leading tonight.
(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
Training the Habit of Faith
“Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods ‘where they get off,’ you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of faith.
“The first step is to recognize that your moods change. The next step is to make sure that, if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why daily prayers and religious readings and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. we have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?” (From Mere Christianity)
This is the main reason that I do this blog every day.
Father, I thank you that you have placed within me this desire to keep my faith alive by diligently keeping your word in front of me throughout the day. For years, I have started my days with at least a small portion of Scripture reading and “religious readings,” as Lewis calls them. Then I began to read more during my morning breaks, and praying on my way to work. I confess that those drive time prayers have been lacking lately, and ask that your Spirit direct me to a better knowledge/practice of prayer. But my faith has remained, while I have watched many of my friends “drift away.” I praise you for this. Now, I pray that you continue to be my fortress and my refuge, and I will sing aloud of your steadfast love for all of my days!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Grace and peace, friends.