Jesus Triumphed FOR Us

Today is Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Day 22,307

Thirty-fifth day of Lent

Thirty days until our Vegas trip!

Nothing much happened, yesterday. There was no baseball (at least for my two teams). It was Mama’s birthday, and I called her to wish her Happy Birthday. We worked, we came home, we ate chili and watched Good Girls and Speechless, we went to bed. See? Pretty dull day, huh?

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Psalm 20:7

Today I am grateful:
1. For another day to walk in his Kingdom
2. That C continues to feel better as the healing continues
3. For the great mercy and lovingkindness (hesed) of the Lord
4. That, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
5. That Jesus triumphed over sin and death, for us

That it may please thee to give to all people increase of grace to hear and receive thy Word,
and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bring into the way of truth all such as have erred,
and are deceived,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to give us a heart to love and fear thee,
and diligently to live after thy commandments,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee so to rule the hearts of thy servants,
the President of the United States,
and all others in authority,
that they may do justice,
and love mercy,
and walk in the ways of truth,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
(The Book of Common Prayer, The Great Litany)

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” ~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

(From Daily Guideposts 2019)

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Romans 5:10

There’s an old Easter hymn that I always loved when I was growing up.

“Low in the grave He lay–
Jesus my Savior!
Waiting the coming day–
Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

Ginger Rue, today’s Guideposts writer, points something out that I have never thought of, in regard to those words. Actually, her husband pointed it out. He said he didn’t like that line that says, “He arose with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.” In her husband’s words, “That’s not what happened. We were all His foes, because our sinful nature puts us at enmity with God. In spite of that, Jesus loved us enough to die for us. So when He arose, He wasn’t triumphing over us. He was triumphing for us.”

I will echo Ginger’s response.

“Wow.”

Perhaps the hymn writer had this idea that Jesus rose from the dead, stepped out of the tomb and said, “So there!!” Or, “I told you so!”

But, truthfully, that is not what happened is it? No one, with the possible exception of a couple of Roman guards, who fainted, saw the resurrection. There was an earthquake, that much we know, and somehow that giant stone was rolled away (uphill, based on all accounts I’ve ever read) from the mouth of the tomb, and Jesus quietly came out of the tomb. By all accounts, he was not seen by anyone else until Mary Magdalene made her way to the tomb.

It was a triumph, but not over his foes. “He didn’t see His glorious resurrection as a triumph over those who put Him in the grave, because no one had the power to put Him there. He chose to go. The triumph was over death, sin, and our separation from Him. We were God’s enemies, yet He died for us!”

Ginger’s husband was right. We were his foes! See Romans 5:10. Jesus did not triumph over us, he triumphed for us!

Addendum: It occurred to me, while I was showering, that the hymn writer could very well have intended that sin and death were the “foes” over which Jesus was victorious. If that was the case, most of my post is wrong.

Father, thank you for the triumph of Jesus Christ over sin and death. Thank you that, by grace, you loved us enough to die for us, even while we were yet sinners, even while we fought against you. In the words of the Psalmist, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

Grace and peace, friends!

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Do Unto Others

Today is Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Twenty-first day of Lent.

Day 22,293

TWO DAYS UNTIL OPENING DAY!!!!

Quote of the Day

“That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.”
Paul Valery, French poet and critic, 1871-1945
The Quotations Page

Word of the Day

Skimble-scamble ~ rambling; confused; nonsensical: a skimble-scamble explanation. (Dictionary.com)

Nothing much going on around here in the past twenty-four hours. So on to the important stuff.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

I love you, O LORD, my strength. 
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:1-2

Today I am grateful:
1. For potential upcoming ministry opportunities
2. For the work of Christ in my life
3. For breakfast (my favorite meal of the day)
4. That C continues to improve
5. That, through the love of Jesus, I can love my “enemies.”

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father,
you have brought us in safety to this new day:
Preserve us with your mighty power,
that we may not fall into sin,
nor be overcome by adversity;
and in all we do,
direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The Book of Common Prayer)

(From Daily Guideposts 2019)

Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
Luke 6:30

Guideposts writer Patty Kirk relates a story of inconvenience that taught her a Scriptural lesson. I won’t relate the whole story, but it involves her husband and her having to interrupt their dinner to drive back to his office and retrieve a client’s phone that had been left in his waiting room. While her husband’s initial response was, “Can’t they come tomorrow during business hours?” Patty thought, “What if it were my phone?”

It turned out that the client’s phone was of extreme importance in her service business to the Amish community.

The theme of the reading is the well-known “Golden Rule.” And how important that “rule” is. Sure, I’ve heard it all my life. But when you stop and apply it in life situations, it will really make you think about the decisions you make, and are about to make. It causes one to think, “What if . . .” when faced with a potentially inconvenient decision.

There’s another phrase that I’ve heard. It’s not from the Bible, but it is equally challenging. “Always do right.”

Following is the whole passage from Luke 6, featuring some of Jesus’s most challenging words to his disciples, and to us.

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Luke 6:27-36

Father, as I walk through this day, in your Kingdom, help me to live out these words. Help me to do to others as I wish they would do to me. Help me to love people as you have loved me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

Soli Deo Gloria!!

According to His Will

Today is Monday, March 11, 2019. Sixth day of Lent.

Day 22,278

Only TWO DAYS until our Glen Rose trip!!!

Quote of the Day

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”
Kurt Vonnegut, U.S. novelist, 1922-2007
The Quotations Page

Word of the Day

Bathetic ~ characterized by triteness or sentimentalism. (Merriam-Webster)

Yesterday was a good day. Worship was good, and I felt really good about our music. The three of us seem to be gelling more as musicians and worshipers. The message was, as usual, quite good, with part of it focusing on our speech, which has always been an issue for me.

We stopped by Andy’s on the way home and had a treat of frozen custard, then C and I watched a little TV. She took Tessie (dog) to get her nails clipped while I played Metro Exodus on the PS4. Later, I ordered some Asian food for S and me, while C had whatever she wanted (she didn’t want to order anything). Over all, it was a good day.

I only have to work two days, this week, as I’m taking PTO for the rest of the week. C is taking off at noon on Wednesday, after which we will have lunch and pedicures! I love a good pedicure. Go ahead and judge me . . . I don’t care! 🙂 Then we will head to Glen Rose late Wednesday afternoon.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:5-6

Today I am grateful:
1. For another day of living.
2. For our upcoming relaxation trip.
3. That God hears my prayers.
4. That I am learning to pray better.
5. That God is drawing me closer.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
  abides under the shadow of the Almighty.
He shall say to the LORD,
"You are my refuge and my stronghold,
  my God in whom I put my trust."
He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter
  and from the deadly pestilence.
He shall cover you with his pinions,
and you shall find refuge under his wings;
  his faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of any terror by night,
  nor of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the plague that stalks in the darkness,
  nor of the sickness that lays wast at mid-day.
A thousand shall fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand,
  but it shall not come near you.
Your eyes have only to behold
 to see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD your refuge,
  and the Most High your habitation,
There shall no evil happen to you,
  neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over you,
  to keep you in all your ways.
They shall bear you in their hands,
  lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and adder;
  you shall trample the young lion and the serpent
            under your feet.
Because he is bound to me in love,
therefore I will deliver him;
  I will protect him, because he knows my Name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
  I am with him in trouble;
  I will rescue him and bring him to honor.
With long life will I satisfy him,
  and show him my salvation.

(The Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 91)

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:14-15
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24

In today’s Daily Guideposts reading, Roberta Messner shared one way in which she discovered the importance of prayer. I won’t go into the details, but the gist of it is that a simple prayer was answered.

When we experience answered prayer, it bolsters our confidence. I have looked at verses like 1 John 5:14-15 for most of my Christian life and wondered if I truly believe this. Do any of us truly believe it? If we do, then why aren’t more of our prayers answered? It’s an ongoing struggle for me. I pray a lot, these days. Sometimes, things work out the way we are praying, sometimes, they don’t.

But the key phrase in the passage is “according to his will.” The writer, John, declares that we have confidence, but the caveat is that we have to ask according to God’s will. This requires a greater intimacy with God than most of us have, I fear. I’ve seen people strutting their confidence, declaring God’s will for them to be healthy and wealthy, have the best car, the best house, and so on. I can’t say for certain, but my feeling is that they don’t get it.

It’s not about material things, and never has been. It’s about relationships; both with God and with others. And with the relationship with God comes the confidence of believing that we are asking according to his will. When I pray for someone to be healed, I have every confidence in the world that God can do it. I just don’t know if he will. I believe that he hears my prayer. I would not pray if I did not believe that.

My life goal is to know God so intimately that I am confident of my prayers being his will. I still have a long way to go. I will say that my Lent project is helping.

Father, I pray that you would help me to know you more intimately. Show me yourself. Each day, may I know you a bit more, that my prayers might hold more confidence and belief. I don’t think my prayers are the most important prayers. There must be thousands of believers whose prayers are “better” than mine. But I believe that you hear my prayers, just as you hear all prayers. I will never quite understand how, but I don’t need to. Help me to love you more, to know you more, to contemplate, to meditate, to simply be in your presence all day long. Then, help me to pray according to your will.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

Soli Deo Gloria!

What the Photo Can’t Capture

Today is Friday, February 8, 2019.

Day 22,247

FIVE DAYS until Spring Training!!!

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; But if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”
Don Marquis, U.S. humorist, 1878-1937
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is wiseacre. It means, “one who pretends to knowledge or cleverness; especially : smart aleck.” (Merriam-Webster)

The practice session with the bride-to-be went pretty well last night. Oh, her maid of honor was present, as well. She was pleased, and even said that my playing on her “walking-down-the-aisle” song sounded better than the video she sent me as an example. She’s very sweet to say that. There were a few rough spots, but I have until next Friday to get it all polished up. It’s feeling more and more natural every day, so my confidence level is rising. I won’t get overconfident, though, no worries, there. I don’t know that I have ever been overconfident about performing music. I am always terrified when the moment of performance arrives, no matter how much I have practiced. And this is the first time I have ever played at a wedding.

It’s Friday!!! And I won’t have to work late, because I’m leaving early to pick up C at the Lasik surgery center. As previously mentioned, she is getting an adjustment/correction on one eye from her previous surgery.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Revelation 7:12

Today I am grateful:
1. For a good practice session last night.
2. That the bride was pleased with my playing.
3. For the musical talent with which the Lord has blessed me.
4. That the Lord put it in my heart to use that talent to glorify Him.
5. For places like Glen Rose, where I can go and “be still.”

Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense,
the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

(The Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 141:2)

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
Psalm 16:7

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10

(This is inspired by today’s reading in Daily Guideposts, by Erika Bentsen)

At least once a year, my wife and I travel to nearby Glen Rose for a long weekend, staying in some cabins on the Paluxy River. I’ve written about it before. It’s one of our favorite places to be. The cabin settings are serene and rustic. They are nestled in the midst of trees and rocks, each one with its own unique view of the river and parts beyond. Our favorite cabin has an upstairs balcony, which has a magnificent view of the evening sunset in the west.

The beauty of the place cannot truly be captured in photographs. Sure, we have tried. And while the pictures look nice, there is one thing that they cannot capture; the atmosphere, the ambience, the sheer feeling of “with God” that we get when we get up in the morning and walk out onto that deck and simply breathe.

These are the times when I most feel Psalm 46:10. “Be still, and know that I am God.”

We need these times of stillness and refreshing, especially in our current culture of hurry. We rush around everywhere. The crazy driving on my morning commute seems to have gotten worse as time marches on. And the closer it gets to 8:00 AM, the worse the driving. Not me, though. I refuse to participate. If you want to get in front of me, more power to you. I don’t care. Go ahead. I’ll give you space. No doubt this annoys drivers behind me. But that’s just the way I drive now. I’ll match the flow of the traffic around me, sure. But I won’t drive so close to the car in front of me that no one can get in. I’m not in that big of a hurry.

I saw a funny picture on Facebook once. It had a picture of traffic, and it said something to the effect of: “People get so angry in traffic on the way to work. Like they’re going to be any happier once they get there.”

One of my favorite Dallas Willard quotes (yes, him again) is “Relentlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” I like that word, “relentlessly.” Hurry is the enemy of time. I think Eugene Peterson may have said that.

When we hurry, it affects everything in our minds. And we become driven by something that may not be that important. What is important? Look at Psalm 46:10 again. “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Father, help me to be still today. Sure, I have to do work. But there can still be moments of stillness. And I am grateful for the stillness of places like our favorite cabin in Glen Rose, where we can rest and know that You are God.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Under His Wings

Today is Thursday, January 31, 2019. Last day of January.

Day 22,239

“Don’t accept rides from strange men, and remember that all men are strange.”
Robin Morgan, American poet, author, and activist, 1941-
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is gibble-gabble. It means “senseless chatter.” Pretty much what I would have guessed. (Dictionary.com)

We didn’t do much last night. The work day went okay for me, but was rough for C. She picked up dinner from Freebirds on the way home, and we watched a little TV, then went to bed.

Looking toward the weekend, not much is planned. I still have a good bit of work to do on the piano music for the upcoming wedding. The wedding is Friday, February 15, and rehearsal on the previous Wednesday. I have scheduled PTO for half a day, both days, so I don’t have to worry about hurrying home from work. I’m really looking forward to the wedding, not because I get to play, but because we really love both of these people and are excited for them.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

For the LORD comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.
Isaiah 51:3

Today I am grateful:
1. For the comfort of God in all situations.
2. For the fact that God is with us all the time.
3. For the fact that God is good all the time. Funny how people only say “God is good” when good things happen. But He is good even when “bad” things happen.
4. For the shadow of the wings of God.
5. For the peace from God that I am currently feeling.

O Lord God Almighty,
as you have taught us to call
the evening, the morning, and the noonday one day;
and have made the sun to know its going down:
Dispel the darkness of our hearts,
that by your brightness we may know you to be 
the true God and eternal light,
living and reigning for ever and ever. Amen.

(The Book of Common Prayer)

(From Daily Guideposts 2019)

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 17:8

Guideposts writer Rick Hamlin writes of a time when he began to feel weighed down by all of the worries in his prayer time; health concerns, financial issues, relationships, and so on. As he sat on the sofa, huddled under his blanket, he released all of those concerns and anxieties to God. “One by one, I let go of my burdens.”

When he opened his eyes and checked the time, he reasoned that it was “time to face the day.” As he stretched out his arms and flung open the blanket, he says it felt like a pair of wings. Then he remembered Psalm 55:6. “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” “Where would I go?” he wondered. The answer: “Exactly where I was. God was my refuge, and I’d huddled under my blanket as though in the shadow of His wings.”

This is a topic that I return to often in my morning devotions. God is present. He is here. He is everywhere. There is nowhere that I can go where He is not. That is of the utmost comfort to me. I don’t find it threatening at all. And in this current episode of our lives, it is even more important. Peace. Jesus makes the darkness tremble.

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’
Deuteronomy 33:27

In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Father, thank You for the reminder that, no matter what is going on in our lives, You are there with us, and, as people are wont to say, You’ve “got this.” Thank You for the reminder that I am sheltered under Your wings. As my verse for the year says, He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Let me never forget that, most especially in the most trying times.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

Soli Deo Gloria!

Divine Appointments

Today is Tuesday, January 29, 2019. Only three days left in January.

Day 22,237

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.”
Plato, Greek Philosopher, 427-347 BC
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is synecdoche. It means, “a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part, the special for the general or the general for the special, as in ten sail for ten ships or a Croesus for a rich man.” (dictionary.com)

C and I made it to the Y for some exercise, last night. I spent 35 minutes on one of their brand new treadmills. I like the machine, but I never burn as many calories on the treadmill. For one thing, there is no place, that I can see, to enter age and weight specs on the treadmill. The elliptical has that feature, and I truly believe that the number of calories burned is related to that. At any rate, I walked just over a mile on the treadmill, and it felt good.

We picked up Subway on the way home, for dinner, so I have a six inch sandwich for lunch today. I think we will probably stay home and have chili for dinner tonight.

Speaking of chilly, it’s a frigid 26 degrees, this morning. However, it is projected to reach 50, so it should still be a nice day out. At least we aren’t having blizzards. Unless we go to Dairy Queen.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
Psalm 116:17

Today I am grateful:
1. For the ability to keep warm in winter.
2. That the place I work has a climate-controlled warehouse.
3. That God will never leave me nor forsake me.
4. For those random meetings with people that turn into blessings.
5. For God’s constant care in my life.

Almighty God,
we give you thanks for surrounding us,
as daylight fades,
with the brightness of the vesper light;
and we implore you of your great mercy that,
as you enfold us with the radiance of this light,
so you would shine into our hearts
the brightness of your Holy Spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The Book of Common Prayer)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

We always stop with verse nine when we are quoting from Ephesians 2. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. But we should keep reading, because verse ten gives us a reason for this “saving.” God has prepared “good works” for us to do, and He had them prepared “beforehand.”

Some of these good works include meetings with people that might seem completely random. Guideposts writer Carol Knapp writes about three of those in today’s reading. I’ve experienced some of those, and I’m sure you have, too. In the grocery store, at the laundromat, at the gym . . . any number of places. Carol calls it being “written in in God’s appointment book.”

What that means for me is that I need to be alert and ready. If I go through life with my head down, not paying attention to anything around me, I might miss some of these “divine appointments.” Of course, if I do miss them, it doesn’t hurt God. But I will miss out on some blessing, whether it be the blessing of encouraging another or vice versa.

I want to share a few other verses that reinforce this idea.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25

Often used to encourage church membership, these verses also stress the importance of simply encouraging one another “to love and good works.”

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

These verses are frequently used in weddings. But I believe they speak more of the beauty of friendship than of marriage (not that it doesn’t apply to both). And “divine appointments” can certainly become good friendships.

Be on the lookout, for you never know when those appointments are going to occur.

Father, make me more aware of my surroundings and the people around me. I don’t want to try to force anything. I just want to be ready for when those appointments come. Open my eyes and my heart to the good works that You have prepared for me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Walk Humbly

Today is January 3, 2019. The tenth day of Christmas.

Day 22,211

41 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, English novelist, 1892-1973 (Today is the 127th anniversary of his birth.)
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is elevenses. It means, “a midmorning break for refreshments.” (Dictionary.com) Due to above fact, this makes me quite happy.

At least twice, yesterday, I mistakenly wondered why someone was at work who does not normally work on Mondays. I really don’t like mid-week holidays! Haha!

I made chili for dinner, last night, and it was quite satisfying in this winter weather we are having. C and I watched a recent episode of Saturday Night Live, in which Jason Mamoa hosted. It was bloody awful! Not so much him, I think, as the writing. Mumford and Sons were the musical guest, and they were pretty good, at least.

The weather is still threatening, this morning. When we got up, the temp was 35, though. Raining, but nothing freezing. It is now 36, according to Wunderground, so I’m not worried about ice, at this point.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.”
Isaiah 12:4

Today I am grateful:
1. That we have not had any ice on the roads, these past two days. This gratitude is humble, though, as I realize that not too far west of here, there is ice and snow.
2. That God calls me to be watchful of Him working in my life.
3. For the opportunities to intercede for others.
4. That C remembered, last night, that I needed to order a new sustain pedal for my keyboards.
5. That God knows me.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father,
you have brought us in safety to this new day:
Preserve us with your mighty power,
that we may not fall into sin,
nor be overcome by adversity;
and in all we do,
direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The Book of Common Prayer, A Collect for Grace)

(From Daily Guideposts 2019)

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

John Dilworth wrote today’s reading. He writes of being inspired by a sermon based on the above verse. He says that he began to be “more intentional about God’s expectations” found in the verse. “I began closing my morning prayers by asking God to guide me to act justly in all I do that day, to be kind to all I am with, and to walk humbly with Him all day.” That sounds like a prayer with which you can’t possibly go wrong.

Humility, it seems, may be the key component to each piece of the prayer. Unless we walk humbly with God, can we possibly “be still and know God,” “Wait patiently for Him to renew our strength,” “Love God with all our being,” or “Love others as ourselves?”

If I am walking humbly with God, then I “must become less so He can become more,” just as John the Baptizer said. I plan to echo Dilworth’s prayer this morning, and every morning that I can remember.

Father, guide me to act justly in all I do today; guide me to be kind to all I am with; guide me, most especially, to walk humbly with You.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Soli Deo Gloria!