Today is Saturday, August 10, 2019. Blessings to you!
Only nine more days until S turns 26!!!
In a little while, we will be heading to Six Flags for C’s company picnic. The lunch is at noon. C wants to ride at least one ride, so we plan to get there a little early so she can do that. We won’t likely stay very long for a couple of reasons. One is that the projected high temperature for today is 102. Picnics in August in Texas. What a wonderful idea.
The other reason is that we will be heading up to the hospital to visit with our pastor and his family. His father is not doing well at all. He had been sent home for hospice care earlier in the week, but last night, he was taken back up to “inpatient hospice” at the hospital, as he was experiencing trouble breathing. This morning it was reported that he will not be returning home from the hospital, and, barring a miracle, all they can do is “keep him comfortable.” Our hearts are very heavy with sadness. No. Our hearts are broken. We realize, yes, that he will soon likely be free from any pain and with our Savior. But we have prayed so hard and intensely. It is difficult to not be aggravated, even angry, or just simply disappointed.
The Texas Rangers lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-5. Emmanuel Chase took the loss in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Rangers are 58-57, in third place in the AL West, 17.5 games out of first place, and eight games out of the wild card race. They will play again tonight, in Milwaukee, with Pedro Payano starting for Texas.
Wow. The Boston Red Sox exploded on the LA Angels, last night, demolishing them 16-4. Marcus Walden got the win for the Sox. He didn’t start, but was the pitcher of record when the Sox took the lead in the fifth inning. J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, and Mitch Moreland all went yard in the game, Martinez doing it twice. The Sox are 62-56, in third place in the AL East, fifteen games out of first place, and 5.5 out of the wild card race.
The current wild card standings are tricky. Cleveland and Minnesota are tied for first place in the AL Central. So they are also both tied for the first wild card spot. Tampa Bay currently has the second wild card spot, a half game ahead of Oakland.
There is a virtual three-way tie for the best record in MLB. The Astros and the Yankees both have a 76-40 record (.655), and the Dodgers are at 77-41 (.653). The Detroit Tigers continue to have a pretty firm grip on last place.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!
God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!
Today I am grateful:
1. For the weekend to rest for the work week ahead
2. For the life of a dear friend, a life that found joy in everyone he met, and never knew a stranger
3. For times when I have received encouragement from a family member, or a brother/sister in Christ
4. That the Lord is at hand; always at hand
5. For peace
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
A lot of verses this morning, as I try to sort out things in my brain and in my heart. Psalm 16 has become for me, over the past few weeks, a sanctuary of sorts. Psalm 86:11 has always been my “life verse.” “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” But Psalm 16:11 is becoming almost equally important to me. A few weeks ago, I began to wonder . . . what if we, the Christians in the world, truly lived as though we believe that there is fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord, and that there are literal pleasures forevermore at his right hand?
We are always in the presence of the Lord. Always. There is never anywhere you can go where you are not in the presence of God. Believer or not, everyone on the planet (and not on the planet, in the case of folks up on that space station), is in the presence of God! “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalm 139:7-8)
I am determined to arrange my life in such a way that I am living in that truth! Because I do believe it!
Verse 8 of Psalm 16 is also becoming more meaningful to me. “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” What does this mean, “I have set the Lord always before me?” It likely can mean more than one thing. But one thing I do believe is that it is meditation. How else can I “set the Lord always before me?” In order to do that, I have to be thinking about him. I have to keep my mind stayed on him. Which brings up another verse, doesn’t it? “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) Right on the heels of that verse, is “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”
Can we truly get to a point where Psalm 73:25 is true and we desire nothing on earth besides God? I don’t know. I haven’t made it yet. But my heart longs for that.
A lot of rambling, this morning, but it all points to the same truth. “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Would that all Christians could live as though this is truth. Would that we could stop attacking each other, because we think differently. Perhaps, if we simply stopped paying attention to all the political bull, and staying our minds on Christ instead . . .
Father, my heart is a mess, this morning, and so is my mind. All of these Scriptures are dear to me. I pray that you keep me focused on their truths; keep my mind stayed on you; may I keep you always before me, in front of me, behind me, and beside me. May I live in the truth that there is fullness of joy in your presence and pleasure forevermore at your right hand. May I live, believing that, in you, there is nothing to fear because you are my God and that you will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me with your righteous right hand. May you be the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Could you please do a miracle for my brother in Christ?
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4
Grace and peace, friends.