Today is Thursday, the twenty-eighth of October, 2021.
May the peace of God reign in your life, today.
Ten days until Daylight Saving Time ends.
My day started out dubiously, as I made a cup of coffee. Without putting a cup under the drip. Oops. Hopefully, that’s the worst thing that happens today. And it could have been a much worse mess. The drip tray caught most of it.
This afternoon, we are finally supposed to close on our mortgage refi. It was supposed to be Tuesday morning, but then they realized that there were some forms that I had to sign and send back. Then, last night, there were even more places that I needed to sign and send back. Makes me wonder if these people really know what they are doing.
Yesterday was a good day at the library. It wasn’t terribly busy, it seems, at the circulation desk, so there were side jobs/tasks that got accomplished. I’m still not perfect, though. I was, however, complimented on humility, by one of the assistant librarians who always seems to enjoy working with me. I think she likes that I don’t get all huffy when she points out my mistakes.
And yes, I still make mistakes. Please reference above comment about not being perfect. The thing is, the way the schedule works, since I’m the lone “floater” (which I like being, by the way), I go a whole week at a time without working in circulation, followed by a week where I work two shifts in that department. So there is a lack of continuity, which makes for less consistency, so that makes me more apt to forget little details. The main aspects are easy to remember. But I tend to forget to fill in certain pieces of the information for new patrons. The most common is the birthday field. In my opinion, it’s in a weird place in the system, which makes it easier to forget.
The thing is, though, that the birth date is probably the most important piece to put in, because that is the demographic we use first, to check if someone already has a library account. The other thing I tend to forget is the alternate ID, which would be their driver’s license or other photo ID number.
In my previous job, forms like that, on the computer, had markers on fields that had to be completed. In fact, the software would not allow us toe save the work unless those fields had been filled in. But, in this case, I just need to work on memory. The thing that hurts is that, as previously referenced, I don’t do these tasks on a daily basis.
They don’t seem to be upset about it, though, so that’s good. I keep getting compliments, and people seem to like working with me.
I’m off work today, and have a couple of things I want to get done. There is some laundry to fold, and I think I’ll make a trip to a grocery store. We need bananas. I have already started our dinner, which will be our Chicken Taco Crockpot Soup, tonight.
I am currently reading The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson.
Today is Plush Animal Lover’s Day. So is it the animal or the animal lover that is “plush?”
The word for today is sanguivorous. Hah! My spellchecker’s got nothing on that one! It means, “feeding on blood, as a bat or insect.” Or vampire?
Today’s quote is from R. Buckminster Fuller, American inventor. “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.” This guy died in 1983, and he said that prior to that. Prophet, maybe?
Significant birthdays on October 28:
Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch humanist and theologian, 1466-1536 John Laurens, American soldier, diplomat, and abolitionist, and good friend of Alexander Hamilton, 1754-1782 Elsa Lanchester, British actress (Bride of Frankenstein), 1902-1986 Jonas Salk, American scientist (polio vaccine), 1914-1995 Bowie Kuhn, American lawyer, MLB commissioner 1969-1984, 1926-2007 Dame Joan Plowright, British actress (Dennis the Menace, 101 Dalmatians), 1929 (92) Charlie Daniels, American country-rock guitarist and fiddler (Devil Went Down to Georgia), 1936-2020 Annie Potts, American actress (Designing Women, Ghostbusters), 1952 (69) (I've always thought she is really cute) Bill Gates, American businessman, founder of Microsoft, 1955 (66) Julia Roberts, American actress (Mystic Pizza, Pretty Woman), 1967 (54) Joaquin Phoenix, American actor (Walk the Line, Joker), 1974 (47)
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Spirit Invoking, by Daryl Madden
A prayer of presence The Spirit invoking Drenched in Your love A sacred soaking The Spirit igniting The word to devour In time of beyond A Holy hour With soul of surrender A finding so freeing The Spirit infuses A blessed being Within this new wineskin The Spirit is swelling One of becoming A divine dwelling
O LORD our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
(Psalms 106:47 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for reminders of the necessity of humility 2. for the indwelling of Your Spirit 3. for You teaching me humility 4. for Your great love toward us, and Your faithfulness that endures forever 5. for Your heart for the poor and needy, and that You have embedded that care in my heart, as well
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK TWENTY-THREE – DAY FIVE
One day spent in your Temple is better than a thousand anywhere else; I would rather stand at the gate of the house of my God than live in the homes of the wicked.
(Psalms 84:10 GNB)
As I pause, during this quiet moment, I reflect on the reality of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, providing us with strength and wisdom for this life. I pray for the knowledge of His presence.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD.
(Psalms 117:1-2 NIV)
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward them for what they have done.
Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
do not be a willing party to their death.
A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
rescue them, and you will have to do it again.
Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
What a person desires is unfailing love;
better to be poor than a liar.
The fear of the LORD leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
(Proverbs 19:17-23 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I continue in the presence of the Lord, I mull over these passages, looking for truth and wisdom for my life. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me through the meditations and prayers.
Psalm 117 is short and simple, the shortest chapter in the Bible, and very close to the exact middle of the text of the Bible. There is nothing in it that has not already been said. However, that doesn’t make it any less important. The message is clear and plain. We should be praising God because His love for us is great, and His faithfulness endures forever. It is not possible to overstate those truths.
There are several ideas in this passage from Proverbs that bear looking at. The first, in verse 17, is the idea that Jesus promoted when He made his sheep and goats speech. Remember what He said:
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”
(Matthew 25:40 NIV)
This is part of his lengthy teaching on the end of the age, that begins with the somewhat cryptic chapter 24. But Proverbs 19:17 restates this truth. When we are kind to the poor, we “lend” to the Lord. And we will be rewarded. Now, personally, I think it better to be kind to the poor simply because we have a kind heart. But if we do it for the reward, we are still doing something good, even if the motivation is less pure. The point is, we must note that God has a heart for the poor, the neglected, the oppressed. And, since we know this to be true, then we should also strive to have that same heart.
Verse 19 is interesting, because it seems to support the idea of not enabling people. In other words, don’t keep helping someone who will just fall right back into the same trouble. You’ll just have to do it again. Great wisdom and discernment is required, here.
Verse 20 assures us that, if we listen to good advice and accept discipline, we will be considered wise. Notice that our job performance is not mentioned. Where this gives me comfort is in thinking about my work at the library. I listen to advice. I accept discipline, willingly, with a noticeable heart to correct my errors. And yesterday, I was complimented on being humble. Believe me when I say that I am always shocked when someone calls me “humble.”
Verse 21 does not forbid the making of plans. Some might read it that way, but I don’t. What it does do, for me, is remind me that, yes, I can make plans, but it is God’s ultimate plan that will be worked out. If my plans don’t get in the way or are even in agreement with God’s plans, it’s all good. If my plans don’t figure into God’s plans, I had better be willing to change.
That idea reminds me of a preacher story.
In the darkest part of the night, a ships captain cautiously piloted his warship through the fog-shrouded waters. With straining eyes he scanned the hazy darkness, searching for dangers lurking just out of sight.https://yfcillustrations.blogspot.com/
Then His worst fears were realised when he saw a bright light straight ahead. It appeared to be a vessel on a collision course with his ship. To avert disaster he quickly radioed the oncoming vessel.
“This is Captain Jeremiah Smith,” his voice crackled over the radio. “Please alter your course 10 degrees south! Over.”
To the captains amazement, the foggy image did not move. Instead, he heard back on the radio, “Captain Smith. This is Private Thomas Johnson. please alter your course 10 degrees north! Over.”
Appalled at the audacity of the message, the captain shouted back over the radio, “Private Johnson, this is Captain Smith, and I order you to immediately alter your course 10 degree south! Over.”
A second time the oncoming light did not budge. “With all due respect Captain Smith,” came the privates voice again, “I order you to alter your course immediately 10 degrees north! Over.”
Angered and frustrated that this impudent sailor would endanger the lives of his men and crew, the captain growled back over the radio, “Private Johnson. I can have you court-marshalled for this! For the last time, I command you on the authority of the United States government to alter your course 10 degrees to the South! I am a battleship!”
The privates final transmission was chilling: “Captain Smith, sir. Once again with all due respect, I command you to alter your course 10 degrees to the North! I am a lighthouse!”
God is the lighthouse. He is not going to change course. I may be a battleship, or I may be a dinghy. I’ve always thought I was a little dingy.
Either way, when my purposes/plans run into the reality of God’s plans, I’m the one who must alter my course.
Today’s reading ends with verse 23 which, once again, stresses the idea of the fear of the Lord, and the impact it has on our lives. And, yes, it is true that the Hebrew word translated “fear” in this instance, can also be translated as “reverence.” Out of all of the translations I look at, though, only one translates the word as something other than “fear.” Just imagine how you would react if you came face to face with Him. Consider if you lived in a country with a King and you wound up somehow meeting him. That is the kind of “fear” we are referring to.
And, in this case, this fear leads to life. It leads to a life of restful contentment, “untouched by trouble.” I don’t see that as a “promise,” per se. I tend to not look at Proverbs as promises. It’s more, I believe, a statement of fact, of consequence. If you do this, then this will happen. If you live with a healthy fear of the Lord, you will have a life of restful contentment and be untouched by trouble.
Does this mean I won’t see trouble? No, no, a thousand times no! But it won’t “touch” me. The KJV, in this verse, says that the person who fears God will not be “visited with evil.” The word “visited,” translated “touched” in the NIV, also has a meaning of oversight, as an overseer. So it means that, if I live my life in the fear of the Lord (which is the beginning of wisdom, as previously stated), trouble will not have any mastery over me. It won’t rule my life.
Father, I am grateful for these truths, presented in Your Word today. I thank You for Your great love for us and Your faithfulness that endures forever. I thank You for the heart You have given me, a heart that cares for the poor and is kind to them, which, in turn, equals “lending” to You. I believe I have reached a point where my kindness is not motivated by the promise of reward. Please give me wisdom to know when it is good to help someone and when giving help will only lead to them repeating the action that got them in trouble in the first place. Thank You for teaching me humility. I don’t run around claiming to be humble, of course, because I don’t necessarily think that I am. And I praise You that You have instilled a measure of fear for You in my heart. All glory to You, Lord, through the Son and by the Spirit.
I pray for growth in these areas to continue in my life, especially in humility and holiness. I pray that You would continually uncover idols in my heart. I pray, as well, for Your continued forgiveness, and that You would enable me to extend that same forgiveness to those who have wronged me in some way.
"Self-giving God, in the interconnected economy of grace You graciously pay off my debt of sin, so now I owe my neighbor a debt of love. Yet in making payments of kindness to my neighbor I'm lending to You, loans that You pay back, with interest. It's a generous cycle of grace that I never want to step out of. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
“Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!
(Matthew 5:9 GNB)
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
(Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV)
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
(Matthew 5:41 NIV)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)
Interesting . . . more about humility.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
(Matthew 6:10 ESV)
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
(Matthew 16:18 ESV)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
(Mark 11:24 ESV)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
(Ephesians 4:1 ESV)
There’s a concept being worked out, here, and it is the idea of “living from the future.” This is an interesting thought to me. Here’s what Jonathan Cahn has to say about it:
“Every problem you have will be answered, either in heaven or before. So the secret is to live not from the problem, but from the problem solved, from the answer, before the answer. You must choose to live not from your present crisis, but from its future overcoming, not from your present obstacle, but from its future breakthrough. You’re in a battle. In the future that battle will be won. [I would have worded that differently. In the future the battle IS won, not ‘will be.’] So don’t live from the battle. Live from its future victory. As it is written, when you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and in your asking, give thanks to God. Live from heaven, from the kingdom yet to come, from the life yet to be, even from the you you are yet to become. Fight the won battle, run the run race, accomplish the finished work, start from the finish line, begin from the victory, rejoice now from the joy at the end. Live now from what will one day be, and you’ll live a life of blessing, and victory, on earth as it is in heaven.”
I will be pondering this more throughout this day.
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!
May the LORD richly bless both you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
(Psalms 115:14-15 NLT)
Grace and peace, friends.