Today is Thursday (almost there), June 21, 2018. Day 22,015.
Today is the longest day of the year. Summer began at 5:07 this morning.
Thirteen days until July 4!
146 days until Fallout 76!
“Talking with you is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out of body experience.” ~ Bill Watterson, from Calvin and Hobbes, no doubt someone’s comment to Calvin. The Quotations Page
The word for today is summerize (no, I did not misspell “summarize”), “to prepare (a house, car, etc.) so as to counteract the hot weather of summer.” Also, “to protect in hot weather for future use.”
As noted, today is the first day of summer. The high for today, though, is “only” projected to be 99, here. It is supposed to reach 103 tomorrow. I’ve lived in Texas sixty-plus years, and I still loathe Texas summers. Summer is by far my least favorite season. What is my favorite season? Why thank you for asking! It is Fall, or Autumn, depending on what you prefer to call it.
The Red Sox dropped another game to the Twins, last night, 4-1, and dropped another game in the standings. With a 49-26 record, they are now two games behind the Yankees.
The Rangers won their fifth consecutive game, beating the Royals 3-2. Their record is now 32-44, but they remain eighteen games back, as the red hot Astros became the first team to win 50 games. The ‘Stros also passed the Red Sox in the overall MLB standings.
The Orioles remain the worst in baseball, but just by a skosh. The Royals are barely ahead of them.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
But you, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me.
I am gone like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become gaunt, with no fat.
I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they wag their heads.
Help me, O LORD my God! Save me according to your steadfast love!
Let them know that this is your hand; you, O LORD, have done it!
Let them curse, but you will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!
May my accusers be clothed with dishonor; may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.
I believe this to be mostly a prayer of vindication. Far better, I think, to pray for God to vindicate me than to try to do it myself. Not that I am in need of vindication, at the moment, but there have been times in my life when someone above me, at work, didn’t believe I did enough. The problem is, they were either not aware of what I was doing, or it was not measurable, because it didn’t produce any statistics. When I pray to God to vindicate me, he takes care of me; I don’t have to worry about trying to defend myself. and because of that (and many other reasons), “With my mouth I will give threat thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.”
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah.
Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
The word in verse 6, that is translated “mercy,” is, I believe, chesed. This is a well-used Hebrew word in the Old Testament, often translated as “kindness” or “lovingkindness.” Here, it is translated, as most often, “mercy.” I have also read that the word “follow” might be better rendered as “pursue.” In fact, Eugene Peterson writes it this way:
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of GOD for the rest of my life. (Emphasis added)
So ponder this, today. The undying chesed, or mercy, of God doesn’t just follow after you. It chases you.
Perhaps we should not try to outrun his mercy.
Father, Psalm 23 gives me so much comfort. I confess that I have not meditated on this Psalm much, lately. I do need to get back to that. I am eternally grateful that your mercy follows, pursues, chases after me. Help me to not run from it. May I walk with you, in Christ, by the Spirit, in your kingdom, faithfully walking and working in the easy yoke of Jesus.
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.