Today is Monday, January 15, 2018. Day 21,858.
73 days until Opening Day.
Martin Luther King, Jr., born on this date in 1929 (died 1968), said, “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”
The word for today, from Dictionary.com, is nonviolence, a noun which means, “the policy, practice, or technique of refraining from the use of violence, especially when reacting to or protesting against oppression, injustice, discrimination, or the like.”
Yesterday was a pretty nice day. We had a good worship gathering in the morning, and picked up lunch at Subway on the way home. The rest of the day was spent pretty much relaxing. I did not practice, though, which I had intended to do. Oh, well.
I’m entertaining the possibility that I will not be going to work tomorrow morning. If the weather performs as forecast, It is supposed to snow, tonight, beginning around 8:00 PM, and stopping around midnight to 1:00 AM. The low for tonight is supposed to be 23. It is supposed to get above freezing tomorrow, but not very much above, and then drop back down to 18 tomorrow night. We shall see.
The Jaguars won their playoff game against Pittsburgh, and the Vikings stunned the Saints with a literal last minute (more like fourteen seconds) touchdown to win their birth in the Conference championship game. Next weekend, the Jags will play the Pats, and the Vikings will play the Eagles. I predict the Patriots and Eagles to win and advance to the Stupor Bowl. Super. I meant Super.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
A Psalm of David.
O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
(From The Business of Heaven)
The Reunion of Christ’s Church
“It was never more needed. A united Christendom should be the answer to the new Paganism. But how reconciliation of the churches, as opposed to conversions of individuals from one church to another, is to come about, I confess I cannot see. I am inclined to think that the immediate task is vigorous co-operation on the basis of what even now is common – combined, of course, with full admission of the differences. An experienced unity on some things might then prove the prelude to a confessional unity on all things. Nothing would give such strong support to the Papal claims as the spectacle of a Pope actually functioning as head of Christendom.” (Letters, May 8 1939)
While I agree with Lewis’s call for unity on some level, I shudder to think of the Pope as being leader of all Christendom. I certainly don’t see that ever happening. That being said, I believe that, on some level, there is a lot less of a chasm between Catholics and some branches of Protestantism, these days.
(From The Finishing Touch)
A Full Empty Nest
Charles Swindoll writes about the day when their last child rode “off into the sunset,” after having gotten married. As he and his wife, Cynthia, watched, he looked at her and said, “Well, Hon . . . we’re back where we started.”
They started, as all couples do, at “ground zero, having never before known what it was like to be a husband or a wife.” They discovered, and still discover what that means.
“We started without knowing what the future held. We still don’t. We started in simple faith, excited about God’s leading. We’re there again. If our God does not lead, we’re still not interested in going. We started with hearts in tune to each other. Though young, we had no disagreement over who would have the final word. Our Lord, who had called us to become one, would remain preeminent.”
They had been married 37 years, when their “primary job of parenting” was finished. From this point on, they would be available, keeping their mouths shut until asked, willing to help at the drop of the proverbial hat.
Chuck says that, according to a book called Passages of Marriage, they have reached this fifth and final stage of marriage, called “Transcendent Love,” which is described as “a profound and peaceful perspective toward your partner and toward life.”
While Christi and I may never have an “empty nest” (our 24-year-old autistic daughter still lives with us, and and we’re okay with that), I dare say that we might be close to that stage of “transcendent love.” I believe our marriage has reached that point of “a profound and peaceful perspective” toward each other. And I certainly know that my own parents reached that stage well before my father passed over to his heavenly home.
Charles Swindoll recommends cultivating your own “transcendent perspective with the one you love. Find one way this week to rekindle the fires of intimacy.” Today, Mr. Swindoll is 83 years old (it’s not is birthday . . . that’s just how old he is today), and he and Cynthia are still married . . . 63 years. It would be awesome to reach that. I will have to make it to 90 years old, though. As fast as time goes by, that seems like it’s an awful long way off.
Father, I thank you for our marriage. I thank you for the good years with Christi, and the level of maturity that our marriage has reached. Of course it’s not perfect, because we aren’t perfect. But it is wonderful, and I think that others see that in us, as well. I hope that we can be an example for younger couples who decide to embark upon this journey. And I pray for all of them, in advance that they would understand the seriousness of this journey called marriage.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Grace and peace, friends.