Today is Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Blessings to you!
Only five days until S turns 26!!!
The birthday celebrations will be bittersweet, of course, as we pause to celebrate the life of our dear friend, Greg Jordan. The funeral will be Saturday morning at 10:00, at the church that they attended before they started coming to our church. Brandon, Terry, and I have been asked to lead a couple of songs at the funeral. This, I’m sure, will be quite the challenge for all three of us. We will be singing “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (Chris Tomlin), and “God Is So Good (You Are Worth)” (Pat Barrett). In addition, I will be leading our usual blessing song at the end, “Benediction,” by Matt Redman. There will also be visitation on Friday evening.
We still plan to go to Mineral Wells on Monday, as C and I are both taking the day off for S’s birthday. There, we will have lunch with Grandma and celebrate the birthday girl. It has also been decreed that we will be getting mani/pedis on Sunday afternoon.
The Rangers lost to the Blue Jays again, but at least it wasn’t a blowout this time. 3-0. Much better than 19-4, but, in the long run, it’s still an “L.” The score doesn’t really matter, does it? Lance Lynn took the loss. The Rangers are 59-60, in third place in the AL West, 18.5 games out of first place, and eleven out of the wild card race. They will try one more time this afternoon, in Toronto, with Kolby Allard taking the mound. They have forty-three games left.
The Red Sox managed to beat the Indians, 7-6, in ten innings. Brandon Workman got the win in relief, and Andrew Cashner got a save. Maybe that’s what he needs to do instead of starting? The Sox are 63-59, in third place in the AL East, 17.5 games out of first, and 8.5 out of the wild card race. They will also play an afternoon game today, in Cleveland. Brian Johnson will get the start. They have forty games left.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Today I am grateful:
1. For the mercy of God, that sustains us in times of grief and mourning
2. For the many testimonies of the kind of life that Greg Jordan lived
3. That my fate doesn’t rest in my hands, but is fully in God’s hands
4. That we can turn worry into prayer
5. That in the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)
“O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace;
and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds,
that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Prayers and Thanksgivings, 32. For the Good Use of Leisure)
(From Daily Guideposts 2019)
PRAYING THROUGH THE PSALMS; The Value of Honest Confession, by Julie Garmon
Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
I won’t go into great detail about the circumstances of today’s reading, but simply summarize to say that Julie and her friend discovered that they were both trying to control what their husbands were doing. Well, not so much what they were doing, as much as the outcomes.
That’s a big problem for a lot of us, isn’t it? We want to control the outcome. We do lots of preparation, or, in many cases, just as these two friends were doing, worry a lot about how things are going to work out.
But here’s the thing . . . look back up at number three in my gratitude list. The outcome is not in my hands! We don’t want to minimize the importance of solid preparation and hard work. But the point here is to not worry about the outcome. That’s God’s job.
A few days back I quoted another blog that said something to the effect of, if you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. What an insightful statement of truth that is, because worry is nothing more than negative meditation.
Now, I’ve never been one to jump on the whole “positive thinking” bandwagon. I don’t believe that all negative thoughts/statements are necessarily bad. I refuse to use the word “opportunity” instead of “problem.” The problem doesn’t go away because you call it something different.
But in this reading, today, Julie Garmon said, “we turned the sin of worry into prayer.”
How profound! Just as my fellow blogger indicated, worry can become something positive if we turn it around and focus on the right thing/person. If, instead of worrying, I immediately went to prayer, I don’t imagine the outcome would be affected, but my attitude certainly would. And, if, instead of worrying, I meditated on either the Lord, himself, or some passage of Scripture, my mindset would change.
We can have confidence in the Lord. As I’ve repeated several times in the past week or so, we have this statement in Psalm 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. And, while we are always in the presence of the Lord, when we are meditating on him, purposeful, focused, thinking, we seem to be more in his presence, if that’s possible.
And in his presence, there is fullness of joy!
Father, thank you for these reminders about worry. Help me to turn any thoughts of worry directly into prayer and meditation today. Help me meditate on the right things and on just you. May I enjoy your presence today, and fullness of joy, even in the face of unspeakable sadness. Joy, unspeakable joy.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!