What Is Idolatry?

Today is Saturday, February 9, 2019.

Day 22,248

FOUR DAYS until Spring Training!!!

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
Carl Jung, Swiss Psychologist, 1875-1961
BrainyQuote

No one really wants to hear that, do they? But have you ever stopped to consider the traits in others that are so irritating? Perhaps I will try to stop and consider why I am irritated by someone instead of just letting the irritation run away with my brain and emotions.

The word of the day is inculpate. It means, “to involve in a charge; incriminate.” Also, “to charge with fault; blame; accuse.” (Dictionary.com)

So C wound up not getting the lasik adjustment done, after all. She arrived at the center and that eye was checking out just fine. The issue, it turns out, may be that she just can’t do the “monovision” type of lasik surgery. Each eye checks out great, as long as the other one is closed or covered. But together, she has vision issues, such as double vision. So she wound up going to Lenscrafters and getting a pair of distance/driving glasses that help the right eye work better with the left eye. She said she could see perfectly driving home. She’s trying to be happy about the whole thing, but is very frustrated about the way it all turned out. I’m not concerned about the money spent, as long as she can see well. Her close-up vision seems to be a lot better, so that’s good.

Of course, I also got to leave work early, yesterday, because I had scheduled the PTO to leave at 2:30 and go pick C up at the surgery center. Instead, I went home, practiced the wedding music, got my new printer set up in the study, and took out the trash and recycling. Very productive me, don’t you think?

Today, I have my vision appointment at 11:45. I’ll probably pick up lunch after that, and then the groceries are set for pickup between 2:00 and 3:00. Funny story. We were watching an episode of Silicon Valley last night, and two of the characters were in the local grocery store. One of them said that she was probably the only person in the store buying stuff for herself. As the camera panned out, everyone else around them was working for “Instacart,” one of the grocery pickup and delivery services. I thought that was hilarious. We tried Instacart once. I much prefer Kroger’s Click List. It’s cheaper and much more efficient. Plus I’m not expected to tip anyone (says so right on the web site). I have, of course, but only when it was, like, twenty degrees outside and raining or something. The click list people are not supposed to even accept tips. I’ve never had one turn me down, though. 🙂

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13

Today I am grateful:
1. For a weekend to rest in preparation for another work week.
2. The C was able to at least get some resolution for her vision, even if it meant a new pair of glasses.
3. That my wedding music practice continues to have positive results.
4. That God is God and I am not.
5. That “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”

Grace to you and peace
from God our Father
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(The Book of Common Prayer, Philippians 1:2)

(From Faith That Matters)

Today’s reading is “Idolatry: Unworthy Ideas of God,” by A.W. Tozer.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Romans 1:21

“Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than he is and substitutes for the true God one made after his own likeness.”

I daresay most of us, when we hear the word “idolatry,” think of a carved image. You know, like the “golden calf” that Aaron made for the people when they all decided that Moses wasn’t coming back.

But we must expand our thoughts on this. Idolatry is much more than bowing to an image of some false god. It’s even more complex than, say, worshiping money or fame. The “god” in question will always “conform to the image of the one who created it and will be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of mind from which it emerges.”

We might also make the mistake of assuming that only primitive peoples are still guilty of idolatry. I’m going to step out on a limb, here (not much of a stretch, since it seems to agree with Mr. Tozer), and say that it is even possible for a Christian to engage in idolatry.

For example, have you ever heard someone say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Is this a true statement about God? I say it is not. The Bible most certainly does not support it. Therefore, the person who believes this about God is guilty of idolatry.

What about, “Well, MY God wouldn’t _______!” Fill in the blank with whatever bigotry you want. The problem with this statement, to begin with, is the word “my.” He is not “my” God. He is God. Period.

“The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him. It begins in the mind and may be present where no overt act of worship has taken place.”

Here is the most important statement in this reading. “Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true.”

I have grown to be very careful with declarations about God, as time goes on. If the Bible doesn’t say it, or at least imply it (and I’m extremely careful with implications, too), then I will not say it about God. In the words of the Psalmist, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Psalm 115:3) We had best think twice before saying, “MY God wouldn’t do thus and so.” We had best be cautious about thinking anything about God that may not be true.

Father, I pray for right understanding and wisdom concerning who You are, that might not entertain idolatrous thoughts about You. I desire to worship You in truth, as You truly are, not some idea that I have manufactured about You. I pray for Your Church, that all who call themselves by the Name of Jesus would do the same.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Enemies

Loving and praying for our enemies is not a “strategy that will turn them into good friends. Love is the last thing that our enemies want from us and often acts as a goad to redoubled fury.” Keep in mind that “the enemies that Jesus loved and prayed for killed him.”

Today is Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Hump Day. Day 21,643.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is sibylline, an adjective meaning, “mysterious; cryptic.”

Today is International Bath Day, so designated because it was allegedly this date on which Archimedes made his famous discovery in a bathtub, and, in his excitement, ran naked down the street, yelling, “Eureka! Eureka!”

After missing a week while on vacation, C and I will get back into our bowling tonight. The league starts at 6:30, so we’ll just have time to get something for S to eat and bring it home to her. We’ll probably wind up ordering food from the bowling alley snack bar. The actually have some decent sandwiches, so it won’t be all pizza and wings or stuff like that. Hopefully, we can keep up the averages we set a couple weeks ago.

The Texas Rangers kept up their winning streak, last night, beating the Astros 4-2. Their streak is now five games, and they are eleven games out of first, tied for second. The Boston Red Sox won another game in extra innings, beating the Phillies 4-3, they, too, are in second place, three games behind the Yankees.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
Psalm 57:8
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
Psalm 80:7
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
Psalm 71:23
Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.
Psalm 68:28
We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 9:4-5
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. 
Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! 
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.

John 93:3-5

(From Living the Message)

Jesus has the last word on “the enemies.” Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). However, in order to do this, we have to be aware that we have enemies and know who they are. “Enemies, especially for those who live by faith, are a fact of life. If we don’t know we have them or who they are, we live in a dangerous naivete.” We may not understand what we are saying when we pray, “deliver us from evil.”

We hate sin and we hate evil, and this provides motivation for compassion for their victims. However, this hatred is “the wrong fuel for the engines of judgment; only love is adequate to sustain these passions.”

Let us not be deceived, however. Loving and praying for our enemies is not a “strategy that will turn them into good friends. Love is the last thing that our enemies want from us and often acts as a goad to redoubled fury.” Keep in mind that “the enemies that Jesus loved and prayed for killed him.”

If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and GOD will look after you.
Proverbs 25:21-22 (The Message)

Father, help me be aware of who my enemies truly are, that I might love them and pray for them. Perhaps I walk in this dangerous naivete, not being completely aware that I have enemies. But, in truth, I know that there are enemies out there that hate the faith that I profess and that hate you or even deny your existence. Help me to identify these and pray for them, showing them love from the depths of the love that you have provided for us. Help me to walk in the words and ways of Jesus today.
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.

Remember

Today is Saturday, July 30, 2016. I’ve been corrected . . . the trade deadline is Monday, since the 31st falls on Sunday, this year.

Quote of the Day

“The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” – Carl Jung

Word of the Day

Littoral – of, relating to, or situated or growing on or near a shore especially of the sea. So I guess it could be possible to be “literally littoral.”

Today is Paperback Book Day. Do I even need to say anything more? Here is one blogger/artist’s representation of Paperback Book Day . Please note that the books in the picture are miniatures. Amazing work!

Yesterday, while driving home, I was playing my iTunes music on shuffle, and this song came up.

As I listened to the lyrics, I realized that, outside of the fact that Rich had 4 brothers and sisters, and his dad was a farmer, this song relates to me and my family. These lyrics spoke most clearly to me:

“Never picture perfect
Just a plain man and his wife
Who somehow knew the value
Of hard work, good love, and real life”

“And they worked to give faith hands and feet
And somehow gave it wings”

We miss my dad terribly, still, but this is the legacy that my parents gave me. And for that, I am eternally grateful to both them, and our Father in heaven.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5

“Forgetfulness atrophies the muscles of praise and leaves them flabby and passive. Remembrance internalizes a history of grace and strengthens praise into blessing, so that we act in a renewing way on our environment.”

“What blessings I have experienced! What benefits I have been given! I will compile my own list of goodness through the hours of this day and give you praise, O God, for each item. Stir my memory and quicken my tongue, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

Father, help me to remember. Don’t allow my muscles of praise to atrophy! Help me to internalize the history of grace that has gone before me. What a history it is! I thank you, my Father, for the “plain man and his wife” who raised me to love you, worship you, and serve you. I pray that I will never disappoint them.

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.