Cut It Off

“Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.” – Irving Berlin
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is supererogatory. That’s a mouthful! It means, “going beyond the requirements of duty,” or, “greater than that required or needed; superfluous.” Not exactly the opposite of derogatory.

Today is Camera Day. So get out there and take some pictures today. I wish I could take some at work, but we aren’t allowed. Secret guv-ment stuff, you.

So, obviously, the power is back on. It was off from just after 6:00 PM Monday evening until just before 8:00 AM Tuesday morning. So fourteen hours! The transformer had failed, and they had to replace it. For reasons unknown, though, the crew didn’t show up to do that until around 6:00 AM. None of us slept very well Monday night. For one thing, it was warm in the house. But we also sleep with a fan on, for steady noise. So it was also very quiet in the house. And I sleep with a C-Pap machine, because I have Sleep Apnea. So, no power, no machine. My Fitbit said I slept for 5.5 hours, and wasn’t awake during any of that. I disagree. I know I was awake during that, because I called the Oncor outage line every time I woke up and I called them at least five times during the night. The message never changed. They were unable to give an estimated time . . . I’m guessing I slept four hours, at best.

As a result, we weren’t very alert at work, yesterday. I almost didn’t go, but I didn’t want to waste PTO. I almost fell asleep at my desk several times, and driving home from work was a bit of a struggle. But all is well, this morning. We went to bed at about 7:30 (haha!), and were asleep by 8:30. My Fitbit says I slept eight hours and 39 minutes.

It’s Wednesday, right?

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said: “I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.
I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him,
so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.
The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him.
I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.
He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens.
If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules,
if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments,
then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes,
but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.
His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me.
Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah.

Psalm 89:19-37

Have you ever thought that God “changed his mind” about you, because your circumstances changed? The witness of Israel is that there is “no fickleness or inconsistency in God.” We may not understand everything about God, but that doesn’t mean he is unworthy of our trust.

“Thank you, Father, for the reassuring witness of the generations of believers that there is no hesitation in your will, no deceit in your promises, and no flaws in your covenant commitments. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Direction of Discipline

And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Matthew 5:30

Jesus didn’t say that everyone has to cut of his right hand. He did say that if it causes you problems in your walk with him, cut it off. “There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them.” I believe that Chambers has captured the meaning perfectly.

I’ve never believed that Jesus literally wanted us to cut off body parts. But I believe that the quote from Chambers nails it. We may find, no, we most definitely will find, that Jesus will keep us from doing things that are “perfectly right for everyone else,” but not for us. But we must be careful. We dare not use our “limitations to criticize someone else.” In other words, just because you see someone doing something that God has convicted you that you should not do, do not judge them for doing that very thing. Classic examples have to do with alcohol consumption and what types of movies Christians should watch or not watch.

God deals with me, and he deals with others. I have no right nor reason to judge that in someone else.

Father, as I move in the direction of discipline, I pray that you show me those things that need to be “cut off” in order to fully concentrate on you. But do not allow me to judge others who may not have been similarly convicted. It is no business of mine how you deal with my brothers and sisters.

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.

In the Watches of the Night

Good morning. Today is Saturday, June 29, 2013. I’m back in my study, in my comfy desk chair, typing on my desktop PC. There are some things about being home that are nice. Sadly missing is the sound of the waves crashing against the shore across the street. But we will experience that again, if the Lord says so, too.

We actually drove all the way home without stopping yesterday! Okay, we stopped once, at a Sonic about three miles from home, to get a drink. And this is how cool God is: the sonic we stopped at has a drive-thru. We pulled up to the speaker, and a girl’s voice came on, asking for our order. There was a guy working on something around the back of the Sonic. He came over to the speaker before Christi could answer and spoke into it, saying, “This is the CO2 guy, you can start serving sodas again!”

😯

Seriously?? Had we been one minute earlier, we would have left disappointed because their soda machines were not functioning.

Anyway, it was a wonderful week, and we are already looking forward to the next trip. Galveston is definitely a favorite vacation spot for us. Sure, Cancun is much prettier, but Galveston is a fraction of the cost, plus we have our own car to drive around, because you can drive to Galveston. I suppose one could drive to Cancun, too. I don’t see us doing that, though.


Today is Camera Day. Which is appropriate, as it looks like we may be buying a new one today, since I channeled Clumsy Carp Wednesday night and broke ours. We have several in mind, but the one that seems to be winning right now is a Sony Cybershot DSC-H200. We’ll see. I guess we will be making a trip to Best Buy later to see what they have.


(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1613, a stage cannon set fire to the thatched roof of the Globe Theatre, during a production of Henry VIII. “In less than an hour this seminal theatre of English drama was gone, burned to the ground.” It was rebuilt in 18 months, this time with tile rood, and remained London’s leading playhouse until 1642, when high-minded Puritans pulled it down, along with all of London’s other theatres, in order to make room for housing for the poor.” It has been rebuilt, although approximately 200 yards from the original, because the original foundation is beneath another building. On Thursday, June 12, 1997, Queen Elizabeth II “officially inaugurated the building, a close replica of the original where Shakespeare’s plays are still performed in the round.”


Today’s birthday is Ray Harryhausen, born on this date in 1920. Harryhausen was a pioneer in movie animation, creating a stop-motion form of animation called “Dynamation.” If you are old enough remember, you’ll recognize some of these movie names that he worked on. Mighty Joe Young (the 1949 original), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, It Came From Beneath the Sea, 20 Million Miles to Earth, First Men in the Moon, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Mysterious Island, and many more. He would have been 93 today, but, sadly, Ray passed away earlier this year. Here is a montage of his creatures that I found you You Tube.

Honorable mentions go to Slim Pickens, 1919-1983, Bret McKenzie, 37, Harmon Killebrew, 1936-2011, Richard Lewis, 66, Ian Paice, 65, Melora Hardin, 46, and Brian Herbert, 66.


TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD. Psalm 135:1
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! Psalm 71:2
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. Psalm 116:16
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:10-14

Father, I praise you that you do not “deal with us according to our sins!” If you did, who could stand before you? But you have removed my sins as far as the east is from the west, and you remember that I am only dust. As I look into your words this morning, I pray that you reveal yourself to me in a fresh way.


Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “Meditating in the Watches of the Night.” The scripture reading is Psalm 63:5-8.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

This psalm is calling for focused attention on God. The singer finds this to be a joyful experience, to the point that his soul is satisfied as though he had partaken of a sumptuous meal of the richest of foods. I can actually recall a few times when a meditation experience found me being that satisfied in the Lord. This psalmist finds this kind of satisfaction when he remembers God while in his bed, meditating on him “in the watches of the night.” Have you ever found such joy in meditating on the Lord?

“Only to sit and think of God,
Oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name
Earth has no higher bliss.”
Frederick W. Faber, quoted by Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy


Father, I thank you that you have given us minds to use to ponder you “in the watches of the night.” What a joy it is to meditate on you, focusing on you even when going to sleep. I wish that I could say that I am successful at this consistently, but I am not. I pray that you would direct my mind and heart, by the power of your Spirit, that I might be thinking on you and your word more frequently, more consistently. Even during this devotional segment on meditation, I have failed to do so consistently. However, I believe I can say that my attention has been at least drawn more toward it than it was before, and I see that as a good thing. Draw my heart and my mind closer to you, especially as vacation time ends and returning to work looms in the immediate future. May I find joy in pondering you, along with your steadfast love and mercy.

I pray for this day. As we go about the errands that we need to accomplish today, keep us safe, keep us joyful, keep us reflecting on the joyful things that you have placed in our lives.

Your grace is sufficient.


Try meditating on the Lord “in the watches of the night.” What better way to fall asleep?

Grace and peace, friends.