Today is Friday, April 19, 2019.
Twenty days until our Vegas trip!!
Quote of the Day
“When love is not madness, it is not love.”
Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish dramatist, 1600-1681
Word of the Day
Skinkle ~ To glitter, glisten; to sparkle, twinkle.
We are a little bit tired, this morning. We got home from work last night to an unexpected scene. One of the main branches of our Bradford Pear tree had broken off. We’re guessing that it was twenty to twenty-five feet tall. It spanned from the base of the tree trunk, where it landed, all the way to our neighbor’s driveway. The smaller, leafy end was all over our neighbor’s pickup. It was quite an adventure. I was able to find our small, electric chainsaw, but the chain immediately came loose. The section of the tree was much too heavy to move.
When C got home a few minutes later, she was able to get the chain back together (she had dealt with this before). While she was working on that, I started texting church family folks, asking for help. Two of them showed up within thirty minutes, one with a gas chainsaw. We had gotten the top portion cut away with our electric one, getting everything out of our neighbor’s yard and off his truck (fortunately, we have a good relationship with these folks). At this point, we don’t think there is any damage to his truck. Our friends/brothers helped us get the rest of the tree cut up. So it’s all piled up in the front of our yard, now. We just have to find someone to haul it off, and probably need to get the rest of the tree trimmed by a professional, so that it doesn’t lose any more, or fall on our cars on the other side.
As previously mentioned, it is Good Friday, the traditional day when we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. I have my own ways of observing this day, but choose not to share them with anyone, not publicly, at least. These are things that are between me and God.
There were no baseball games of any importance to me, yesterday. The Texas Rangers host the Houston Astros tonight at 7:05, with Smyly taking the mound for Texas. The Boston Red Sox will be in Tampa, facing one of the hottest teams in the MLB, the Rays. E. Rodriguez will be pitching for the Sox.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
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.
Today I am grateful:
1. For brothers in Christ who are willing to come help us, even before they get home from work
2. For the community of saints
3. That the fallen tree situation wasn’t worse
4. That God stands ready to reveal himself to me when I seek him
5. That I can “live gladly” because of the knowledge of God
“Almighty God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy
family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be
betrayed, and given up into the hands of sinners, and to suffer
death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee
and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Good Friday)
(From Faith That Matters)
Today’s reading is “Live Gladly,” by James Bryan Smith.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
“How do we come to know such love? We must ask for it. We must pray that we will come to know and feel this love. We must plead to God before we will hear this gentle voice.”
The interesting thing about God is that he will typically not intrude upon our lives. There are isolated cases where he did. Saul is a big example of this. But, for most of us “ordinary” Christians, he will wait until we seek him, or ask him. And he has promised, in the above verse, that if we seek him we will find him.
Ironically, Smith quotes another of the authors in this collection of devotions, Frederick Buechner: “If you have never known the power of God’s love, then maybe it is because you have never asked to know it–I mean really asked, expecting an answer.” If we are ready to ask, God stands ready to give. “Nothing gives God more pleasure than filling his children with love and hearing them exclaim, ‘Abba, Daddy!'” While I agree with the sentiment of that statement I always hesitate to make statements like “Nothing gives God more pleasure than . . .” You can fill in the blanks with a lot of things. The point is, yes, God takes great pleasure in having his children ask for him and cry out to him in love.
Smith quotes another of the great devotional writers, Julian of Norwich, “The greatest honor we can give to Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.” May we ask God for this knowledge, “not in your head but in your heart.”
Father, help me to seek you with all of my heart on this Good Friday. May I take my break times today and make them times of worship. May I consider often your sacrifice and the benefit I obtained from it. Let this day be a day of worship and contemplation for me and other Christians in the world. Today is not a normal day. Let me not approach it as such.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
Grace and peace, friends.