Good morning. It is Friday! November 2, 2012. Today is “Look for Circles Day.” Hey, there’s one! Holding my coffee! Well, it’s more of a cylinder, but the top is a circle! There’s another one! In the middle of my acoustic guitar! And that lamp! This is going to be a busy day. I’d better get moving.

On this date in 1783, George Washington gave his farewell address to the Army.
On this date in 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states in the U.S.
On this date in 1936, the British Broadcasting Company initiated the BBC Television Service. It was renamed BBC1 in 1964, and still runs to this day.
Also on this date in 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established.
On this date in 1947, Howard Hughes flew the Spruce Goose for the first and only time. It was the largest fixed wing aircraft ever built.
On this date in 1959, game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to being given questions and answers in advance for the game show Twenty One.
On this date in 1965, Norman Morrison set himself on fire in front of the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in Vietnam.
On this date in 1983, Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Today’s birthdays include Daniel Boone, 1734, Marie Antoinette, 1755, James Polk (11th President), 1795, Warren G. Harding (29th President), 1865, Burt Lancaster, 1913, Stephanie Powers, 1942, Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer), 1944, kd lang, 1961, David Schwimmer (Friends), 1966, Orlando Cabrera (baseball player), 1974.

We finally all got to the gym last night. It’s the first time all three of us went in several weeks. Good times. Not a whole lot more to report. I think we might be taking Stephanie and Michael out for dinner tonight. I’m not sure what the weekend holds, either, besides the normal stuff.

Father, I pray for some revelation this morning as I continue to learn how to follow Jesus. May your Holy Spirit lead me today.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 134. This is the last “Song of Ascents.” Since it is placed last, there are many who feel that the first two verses sung by departing worshipers, as they encourage the priests who tend the temple at night.

1 A Song of Ascents. Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
3 May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “Authority and Independence.” The scripture reading is from John 14:15, which says, If you love me, you will keep my commandments. “Our Lord never insists upon obedience; He tells us very emphatically what we ought to do, but He never takes means to make us do it.” You’ll notice that most of the time, when speaking of discipleship, Jesus prefaced his statements with “if.” IF I want to be his disciple, I must give up my right to myself. I don’t have to do it. He will not force me to do it. It must be done out of a oneness of spirit with Jesus. We must also understand that these words do not refer to “eternal positions, but of being of value to Himself in this order of things.”

“The Lord does not give me rules, He makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation.” If there is hesitation, it is because I love something else more than I love Jesus, most likely myself. There is a point at which I must decide to leave self behind and obey Christ, if I want to be a true disciple. Chambers says that Christ will not help me obey. I’m not sure I totally agree with that. I would not be able to obey at all, were it not for his life in me. But I think I get what he means. I must get beyond the small, petty things in my life that hinder me. I must decide that they don’t matter. I must leave behind everything in my life that is not of Christ. This is difficult, perhaps even impossible. Again, the reason that I don’t agree with the thought the Jesus does not help me. Anyway, getting beyond that…once I do obey, redemption flows through me, out of me, into other lives and others are blessed. I have no idea how many people will ultimately be blessed through my obedience. Furthermore, that should not be my concern. It is simply my duty to lose myself and obey Jesus.

Father, I praise you this morning for the life of Christ in me. I do believe that his life in me helps me obey him. I know that my obedience is far from perfect, and I continually pray that I might be a faithful disciple. I do desire to be a disciple, therefore my heart’s desire is to obey your commandments. This is one reason, among many, that I do this thing in the mornings. I sense growth in my inner being, more of a desire to give up my right to myself and allow you to take over. Keep me working toward that, as I continue to discover the importance of allowing Jesus to live his life through me. I pray that people will see me as a “person of peace,” both at home and at work, and any place I happen to be. I pray daily for the characteristics of Christ to be manifest in my life. Make these things that don’t matter smaller and smaller in my life.

I pray for this day. Christi is working from home today. I pray that she will have plenty of uninterrupted time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Give her peace in this setting, and may the fact that she is working from home serve to shield her from the normal stress and tension of a work day. I also pray that you would continue to heal the pain in her leg and foot. I pray for Stephanie today, that she would not take too much liberty with the fact that her mother is home. Help her understand that Christi is home to work. I also pray that you draw Steph’s heart closer to yours I pray for my work day, as well, that you would make it a smooth day for us, with no issues to prevent us from achieving our goals.

I continue to lift up people affected by hurricane Sandy. I pray that power would be restored to the millions of people who may still be without power. I pray for comfort and hope for those whose lives have been drastically altered by this storm. I pray for relief efforts to be unimpeded, and that your Church would rise up and be a force of healing in this time.

Our obedience is voluntary, but what blessings come when we do obey! If we would be disciples…”IF.”

Grace and peace, friends.