Today is Friday, January 19, 2018. Day 21,862.
69 days until Opening Day.
Edgar Allan Poe, born on this date in 1809 (died 1849), said, “I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
The word for today, from Dictionary.com, is enfant terrible, a noun, French, meaning, “an outrageously outspoken or bold person who says and does indiscreet or irresponsible things.” Also, “an incorrigible child, as one whose behavior is embarrassing.”
C is feeling some better this morning. She still had some crazy dreams, but is feeling better.
I’m taking my car back to the dealership, in the morning. I need to go fairly early, so they have time to get the work done while I wait. It’s supposed to only take an hour to ninety minutes. I’m not sure what effect that will have on my morning devotional. Depends on how late I stay up tonight and what time I get up in the morning.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.
For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—
the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed.
I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.
For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed.
They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.
As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me.
Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—
the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me,
who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence.
For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name.
Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
Advice to the Clergy
“There is a danger . . . of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue. Men who have passed beyond these boundary lines . . . are apt to protest that they have come by their unorthodox opinions honestly. In defence of those opinions they are prepared to suffer obloquy and to forfeit professional advancement. They thus come to feel like martyrs. But this simply misses the point which so gravely scandalizes the layman. We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing your ministry after you have come to hold them. We always knew that a man who makes his living as a paid agent of the Conservative Party may honestly change his views and honestly become a Communist. What we deny is that he can honestly continue to be a Conservative agent and to receive money from one party while he supports the policy of another.” (Christian Apologetics)
In other words, if a clergyman no longer holds the views of the organization for which he ministers, he should cease being a member of that organization. I had to look up “obloquy.” It means “strong public criticism or verbal abuse.”
(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)
Miles That Matter
In this reading, Charles Swindoll makes reference to John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways. Both are what we call “travelogues,” true accounts of authors just leaving everything behind and traveling the country. I have read Blue Highways. It is a delightful book, making me wish I could do what the author did. Only I would want to take my wife along.
Swindoll then gives us an account of when he drove his son across the country to an apartment near a school he would be attending. 2500+ miles, they drove, stopping at motels, eating at dives, simply enjoying each other and the scenery.
How does this relate to God? Only in that we need to take time; time to enjoy what God has created; time to enjoy people that we encounter. Time to simply slow down and live. It’s been 24 years since this book has been published. It’s hard to imagine how much more fast-paced our lives have become since Chuck wrote this. To give you some idea, he makes references to “floppy disks” in this reading. A lot of people reading this might not even know what that is. Hahaha.
Charles’s recommendation today: “Get off the freeway and travel some blue highways. You’ll love the scenery. And, more importantly, you need the break.”
A Psalm of David.
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah.
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.
Father, I thank you for life and for living. I pray that you help me enjoy life more intensely. Help me to enjoy the people, not only those you have placed in my life on a daily basis, but those I “randomly” encounter along the way. Thank you for lighting my “lamp” and lighting my darkness. Thank you for being my God and my rock.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!