Today is Monday, January 8, 2018. Day 21,851.
80 days until Opening Day.
Amber Benson, born on this date in 1977, said, “I think any good literature, whether it’s for children or for adults, will appeal to everybody. As far as children’s literature goes, adults should be able to read it and enjoy it as much as a child would.”
The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is stardust, a noun, meaning, “a naively romantic quality.”
The prayer and worship gathering went pretty well, yesterday morning. Since I didn’t play, I had ample time before-hand to prepare, reading over the Scriptures that would be used, and meditating on them, as well. It seems to have been a good morning.
This evening, it’s back to Southlake for band rehearsals. I’m excited about playing again. Not so excited about getting home at 9:30PM, but that’s the trade-off. We’ll be preparing for an indoor concert in March.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
(From The Business of Heaven)
Into the Presence of God
“It is religion itself–prayer and sacrament and repentance and adoration–which is here, in the long run, our sole avenue to the real. Like mathematics, religion can grow from within, or decay. The Jew knows more than the Pagan, the Christian more than the Jew, the modern vaguely religious man less than any of the three. But, like mathematics, it remains simply itself, capable of being applied to any new theory of the material universe and outmoded by none.
“When any man comes into the presence of God he will find, whether he wishes it or not, that all those things which seemed to make him so different from the men of other times, or even from his earlier self, have fallen off him. He is back where he always was, where every man always is. . . . No possible complexity which we can give to our picture of the universe can hide us from God: there is no copse, no forest, no jungle thick enough to provide cover . . . In the twinkling of an eye, in a time too small to be measured, and in any place, all that seems to divide us from God can flee away, vanish, leaving us naked before Him, like the first man, like the only man, as if nothing but He and I existed. And since that contact cannot be avoided for long and since it means either bliss or horror, the business of life is to learn to like it. That is the first and great commandment.” (Dogma and the Universe)
(From The Finishing Touch)
Memories Are Made of This
In this reading Charles Swindoll waxes nostalgic about raising children, memories sparked by a Thanksgiving gathering in which their daughter held her newborn infant. He reminisces over the joy of holding newborn children, and, subsequently raising them.
But then her realizes that not everyone has such memories. In some cases, “home” may have been a battleground, a place where the children were afraid to come home from school, or the mother afraid for the father to come home from work. In many cases, for such people, the Church has become “home” and “family” for them.
I remember when my own daughters were in school. It wasn’t nearly as frequent for the older one, who went to Christian school until eighth grace. But the younger one, being autistic, had to spend more time in public school. I remember being both shocked and saddened to find that the majority of her classmates had single parent homes.
We, as the Church, need to be reminded of the need to be “home” and “family” to all people, but especially those who have no “family” to speak of. Remember, it is the widows and orphans that truly have the attention of our Father. We would also do well to remember that Jesus found more comfort in his small band of disciples than in his own, earthly, family. And who can forget this scene in his life:
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Father, I thank you, first of all, that my family experience was a blessed one. I look around me, and am so grateful that you brought me into this world in the family I had around me. But I am also thankful for the family of Church. Help us to be more mindful of this need in our midst. After all, in our own little gathering of people, we have one who has lost a wife in the past year. What have we done to help him fill that empty space in his life? I would hope anyone who has lost family members, or who may feel alone in this world, would feel comfortable and accepted in our church. If they don’t, we have some work to do.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.