Today is the twenty-ninth of June, 2022, in the thirteenth week of Ordinary Time.
We are still getting a slight break from the heat, as the high today is only supposed to be 93. There’s a slight chance of rain on Sunday, but from July 4, until the end of the ten-day forecast, the temps are back over 100.
I can’t find any updates on the “Dempsey Fire” in Palo Pinto County since Monday, but at that point, it had burned almost 12,000 acres and was only 27% contained. We need rain badly.
Mama and I spent three hours at the dentist, yesterday morning. She’s getting that tooth capped, and all seems to be well. The dentist is not 100% sure that it will work, long-term, but he said he was doing what he would want done, so we trust that. Hopefully, this will be fine. The permanent cap will be there in a few weeks.
The Texas Rangers have done well against the KC Royas, as they should. Monday night’s game was iffy for a while, but they wound up winning 10-4. Last night, they won 8-3, so they have won the series, regardless of what happens in this afternoon’s game. They are back within one game of .500, at 36-37, still in second place in the AL West. Ten games out of first, four games out of the Wild Card.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, have lost two games in row to the Blue Jays, and have been bumped into third place in the AL East. They are only a half game behind the Jays, at 42-33, and still have the second Wild Card spot. They will play the Blue Jays again today.
The Yankees still have the best MLB record, at 55-20 (they are eight games ahead of the next team). The Athletics continue to hold down the basement, at 25-51. The Yankees, Brewers, and Nationals all have three-game winning streaks, and the Pittsburgh Pirates own the current longest losing streak, at five games. The Yankees also have the best run differential, having scored 149 more runs than their collective opponents. The Athletics currently hold the worst, having been outscored by their opponents by 112 runs. The Rangers have outscored their opponents by 14 runs, and the Red Sox have outscored theirs by 59 runs.
Today is a rather lazy day (I hope). The lawn guy is coming today, and I have a grocery order being delivered. We may have to take a guinea pig to the vet this week, but if that has to happen, I think it will be Friday, my next day off after today.
I had a good night at the library, last night, and wound up checking out about six DVDs and a book. I think that’s the most I have gotten at one time. And not all of the DVDs are for me. I got a couple of Good Witch movies for C and Mama, as well as the first season of a British comedy called The Dectectorists, which looks like fun. Then I got Deadpool 2, American Graffiti, and The Abandoned. The book is called The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, recommended by one of our librarians because I liked Daisy Jones & the Six.
I’ll start my devotional as soon as I get another cup of coffee.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord God, we glorify your name. How we wish our voices could ring out over all the world, telling of the great things you have done for us, praising you that we can come to you in Jesus Christ, that we can worship, honor, and thank you for all your goodness! Safeguard all your children so that they hold to faith and remain true to the message of the gospel. May we thank and praise you for all you have done this day and for your working in the hearts of many people who are still unknown to us. Your Spirit rules and calls people, to bring them to you, the Father in heaven. Watch over us and continue to bless us. Help us who belong to your people, and protect us through the night. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. (Psalms 59:16-17 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for the strength and love of my God, who is my fortress and refuge in times of trouble 2. that we can come to Him in Jesus, and worship, honor, and thank Him for all His goodness 3. that, even when I wander from His path, the Lord is always with me, and always draws me back to Him 4. that, thought I am breakable, He will not allow me to be crushed, and He will not abandon me 5. for freedom in Christ
The word for today, from Pray a Word a Day, is wander.
"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; take my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above." (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, by Robert Robinson, 1758)
By definition, wandering isn’t necessarily bad or wrong. It simply means “walk or move in a leisurely, casual, or aimless way.” In fact, the word “wander” is frequently used with the word “aimlessly.”
I don’t remember if I wandered much, as a child. I know that, as I grew older, and was allowed to ride my bicycle all over town, I wandered quite a bit. I liked exploring the town.
C and I like to wander when we visit new places. Sometimes we wander, but not aimlessly, when we find a trail that we haven’t walked on. We aren’t sure where we are going, but we are following a trail.
Spiritually, however, wandering is never good. It is never good to wander through the spiritual life aimlessly. And I do tend to do that. Sometimes, I wander dangerously far from the path of righteousness. But God is faithful. When I wander, He never leaves me. In fact, even when I have wandered away from His path, He is always right beside me. It’s not His fault I’m not paying attention to His presence. He hasn’t gone anywhere.
And He is faithful to draw me back. Oh, sure, He will indulge me for a season. “Go ahead, have your ‘fun’,” He seems to say. But there will come a time when He will say “enough!” And that time may be somewhat unpleasant for me. I can say this from experience. But the end result will be safety.
Father, I pray that You keep me from wandering. And, when I do wander, I pray that You will always draw me safely back to You. I also pray that, when I do wander, You will protect me from my own foolishness. Thank You for Your presence, always with me, always watching out for me.
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
(Romans 7:18 NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
Romans 7:18 is one of the reasons for my wandering. As long as I continue in this moral coil, this will be a struggle. As Paul says elsewhere, this keeps us humble, too.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NIV)
The glory of God in a “jar of clay.” We are not unbreakable. But He will not allow us to be crushed, nor will He abandon us. And, as long as we stay in that “easy yoke” with Jesus, our burden will be light.
Thank You, Father, that You will never abandon us or allow us to be crushed. Please protect this “jar of clay,” and make Your glory shine through the mud.
Eugene H. Peterson writes about freedom, but it is not any freedom that any country or government can provide or control.
“In all nations, there are people who live out a freedom that is both different and better than that claimed by their fellow citizens, whether capitalist or communist or anything in between. These people call themselves Christians.”
Unfortunately, the word “Christian” is getting some bad press in the U.S., these days, and there are some who call themselves by that name that are depending much more on that “freedom” that they get from the government than that which they get from Christ. The true Christian is free in Christ and needs no government to tell him otherwise. Notice that Peterson says, ” all nations . . . whether capitalist or communist or anything in between.”
Christians are free in Christ, regardless of the political system. Oh, sure, they may have to meet underground to worship. But physical freedom is much different than spiritual freedom.
"The Word that Christ speaks to us sets us free; the praise we offer develops freedom; the prayers we offer make freedom possible for others. "As people faithful in worship and attentive to God's Word, we will witness to that freedom. We will be free, but not with the world's freedom. We will be Christians."
(From On Living Well, by Eugene H. Peterson)
Father, I thank You for true freedom, freedom that we have in Christ. I praise You that this freedom cannot be taken away by any man, system, or government. It is truly in Christ, and it is protected by You. I praise You that no man can snatch me out of Your hands. My body is not indestructible, but my spirit is. All glory to You, through the Son, and by the Spirit.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, prayer for Compline)
Grace and peace, friend.