Today is Friday, the tenth of September, 2021.
May the peace of God reign in your life, today.
Twelve more days until the official end of Summer, the Autumnal Equinox.
I have scheduled Cleopatra’s follow-up visit to the vet clinic for next Friday afternoon. At that appointment, we will also complete her vaccination boosters, as well as the micro-chipping. We took the “cone of shame” off a couple days ago, and the incision spot looks great.
As of 8:00, this morning, C had not taken any pain meds since last night. So she went through a complete overnight without any, which is great. There is still pain, of course, but not so bad that she can’t tolerate it. But, then, C has been living with pain for so long that she has a pretty high threshold.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I could wax eloquently for a while on that. One of my best friends took his life when we were juniors in high school. I know I’ve mentioned this before. But you simply never get over something like that. I probably should have sought therapy at some point, but never did. Almost fifty years later, and the overwhelming sadness can still strike out of nowhere, with no warning. The national suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. If you are considering suicide, please think it over and get help. If you think someone you know is considering it, please find a way to intervene.
The word for today is exclave, a noun which means, “a portion of a country geographically separated from the main part by surrounding foreign territory.” I couldn’t think of any, off the top of my head (what does that even mean??), so I looked it up. Apparently, Point Roberts, Washington, can only be reached by traveling through British Columbia.
Today’s quote is from Elizabeth I: “The past cannot be cured.” That’s somewhat profound, and worthy of consideration.
Significant birthdays on September 10:
Isaac Kaufman Funk, American publisher (look that up in your Funk & Wagnall's), 1839-1912 Rin Tin Tin, dog, 1918-1932 Ted Kluszewski, MLB All-Star 1st baseman, Cincinnati Reds, 1924-1988 Arnold Palmer, American pro golfer, also tea and lemonade, 1929-2016 Roger Maris, MLB All-Star right fielder, New York Yankees, 1934-1985 Danny Hutton, singer, Three Dog Night, 1942 (79)
Jose Feliciano, Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, 1945 (75)
Charlie Waters, American football safety, Dallas Cowboys, 1948 (73) Barriemore Barlow, English drummer, Jethro Tull, 1949 (72) Joe Perry, American rock guitar player, Aerosmith, 1950 (71)
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord, I dedicate this day to You. May my feet walk only where You want them to walk. May my eyes see only what You want them to see. May my ears hear only what You want them to hear. May my mouth say only what You want it to say. May my mind think only what You want it to think.
You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.
“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
(Isaiah 12:1-6 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. that You are my salvation, my strength, and my song 2. that I can trust You and not be afraid 3. that You have never forsaken me, even when I wandered pretty far off of Your path 4. that You have been my hope since my birth 5. that You, Jesus, came to proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to the captives and oppressed, and recovering of sight to the blind
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK SIXTEEN – DAY SIX
The LORD is good. He protects those who trust him in times of trouble.
(Nahum 1:7 CEV)
I pause during this quiet moment to reflect on the goodness of the Lord, my salvation, my strength, and my song.
In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
(Psalms 71:1-8 NIV)
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
(Deuteronomy 30:11-16 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I remind myself of the presence of the Lord, I linger over these passages, taking them in, word by word, phrase by phrase, allowing the Holy Spirit to draw me deeper.
I am especially moved by verses 5 and 6 of Psalm 71. Indeed, it does seem that I have trusted in and relied upon the Lord since my birth. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not love Jesus. I have no memory of a time when I did not follow Him. Surely, there are times when I was “following” at a greater distance, but He has always been a part of my life. I can truly say that the Lord “brought me forth from my mother’s womb.”
My mouth has been filled with His praise for decades. And I believe in the prayer that we see if we keep reading beyond today’s selection.
Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
(Psalms 71:9 NIV)
On this, I am fully persuaded that the Lord will not, in fact, “cast me away when I am old.” As long as I have breath, He will have use for me, and when He is done with me on this plane, He will carry me through to the next.
It is also true that the commands given us are not, in fact, “too difficult” or “beyond our reach.” The Word of God is not beyond our grasp; it is not too high for us, nor is it across the sea. It is readily available, and quite easily. For those of us who are Christ-followers, His Word is truly in our hearts and in our mouths.
He has placed a choice before us: life and prosperity, or death and destruction.
Once again, I like to keep reading a little beyond the selection for the day.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
(Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NIV)
Again, I acknowledge that these words were originally spoken specifically to Israel by Moses. But those same choices are placed before every person on earth, today.
I join Moses in challenging/inviting you to choose life. Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.
Father, I praise You for the examples that we have set in front of us in Scripture; examples of life and prosperity, over death and destruction. Examples of faithful people who, though You chose them and empowered them, they were still flawed imperfect, and You used the in mighty ways, anyway. I praise You for bringing me out of my mother’s womb and for being my God for these many decades. You have never forsaken me, even though my walk with You has wandered far off the path, at times. And I thank You for the truth that Your commands are not too difficult and burdensome for us, especially when we walk in the easy yoke with Jesus.
I pray that all people would have the inspiration and strength to choose life over death, Your prosperity over destruction. Help me to be a harbinger of life in this country of death.
Father, please give all of Your children the ability to be like Jesus in denying ourselves and serving others. Give us the commitment to do justice and show mercy. I lift up all who are homeless this day, along with all who care for them.
"God who is very near, You never insist we show our spiritual mettle by going on epic journeys; we're never asked to accomplish heroic feats to prove our worthiness. You've given us no ladder to climb up to Your heavenly heights, because You came near to us. Help us grasp the life You offer in the One who came down from heaven for us and our salvation. Amen."
Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.
(Matthew 11:29-30 CEV)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
(Psalms 56:3 ESV)
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
(Philippians 4:6 ESV)
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
(2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
(Luke 4:18-19 ESV)
I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.