Attitude Check

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices.
(1 Peter 2:11-12 MSG)

Today is Saturday, the fifth of March, 2022, in the season of Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,368

There’s not really much to write about, this morning. Yesterday was a pretty normal day. Usual stuff at the library, and we had one of our favorite meals for dinner, the Pecan Crusted Buttermilk Chicken. And there are leftovers for me to take for lunch today, as today is my Saturday to work in the circ department. C may bring Mama to the library today, which would be cool. I’ll probably text her with the schedule when I get there, so she knows when I’m at the desk and when I’m not.

I’m getting a new hard drive for this PC. It should arrive today, and I will likely attempt to install it tomorrow. I’ll make sure and check some YouTube videos, but I think it’s simple enough that I should be able to do it. The current hard drive (the D drive, which is mechanical) seems to be operating non-stop. At least that is what the noise I am hearing would indicate, after speaking with the computer center manager at the library. The mechanical hard drives are cheap. I’m getting a 2TB drive for less than $50. I could have gotten 4TB for less than $70, but I simply cannot fathom ever needing that much storage. The current drive is 1TB and is not even half full.

The Lenten fast continues to go okay. I still have not had any candy. The criticism is getting better. The cool thing is that I am being more aware of when I am beginning to launch into something critical, and can stop myself. What I’m looking forward to is when I get to where it’s not even a temptation. That will take a while.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

"Love one another;
This is how they know you're Mine;
Love one another."
(Inspired by John 13:34-35)
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: 
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, 
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD 
and to inquire in his temple. 
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
 he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
 he will lift me high upon a rock.
(Psalms 27:4-5 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for grapes and cantaloupe
2. for quiet mornings
3. for time to read and meditate on God's Word
4. that this world is not my Home
5. that I have the strength to do everything I need to do

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices.
(1 Peter 2:11-12 MSG)

So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time.
(1 Peter 5:6 MSG)

In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:6 NIV)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:9 NIV)

For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place, 
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
before one of them came to be. 
(Psalms 139:13-16 NIV)

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:13 NIV)

Today’s prayer word is “attitude.” The referenced Scripture is Proverbs 17:22.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
(Proverbs 17:22 NIV)

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
(Proverbs 17:22 MSG)

Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.
(Proverbs 17:22 GNB)

There it is in several different versions.

This is appropriate for the season, for me. I’ve talked about my Lenten “fast” for this year. As I strive to eliminate the critical nature from my personality, attitude is everything. What a shift in attitude to change from judgment to praise. When I am tempted to judge someone or be critical of a situation or circumstance, my attitude needs to be adjusted to find something positive in it or about the person. I’m not talking about “toxic positivity.” Yes, there is such a thing, and I used to work around it. And I promise you, I will never be guilty of that. I most definitely not a “Rah-Rah” person, and have no intention of being so.

And, like most things, there is a time and a place for healthy, positive criticism. That’s not what I’m talking about, either. I’m talking about the constant picking at things, always being dissatisfied with things. Always trying to blame someone for something. Sadly, a lot of what I am seeing from many people that are in my generation, right now.

The thing is, there is always something that I don’t know about any given circumstance. I never know what that grouchy person might be going through. They may just be grouchy, or a mean person. That’s entirely possible. But my judgment or criticism of them is not going to change that. However, if I smile and give them a positive word, anyway? It might make a difference, and it will certainly make me feel better about the world.

Father, as I go into this day, may I live these words that I’m typing. Give me the courage to approach the day with determination; determination to not judge people, to not express negative opinions about things, to not be critical. Sometimes, it may just mean keeping my mouth shut and not saying anything. You know, the old “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all,” schtick. But I pray for my attitude to be one that reflects You, Your love, and my walk with Christ. And let my walk with Christ be such that it creates an attitude that is acceptable.

Help me to submit to You, to acknowledge You in all my ways, that my paths may be straight. Please help me to remember that I can do all of these things through Christ, who strengthens me by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Remind me, today, that this world is not Home. And how glad I am of that, considering everything that is going on in it, right now. Oh, how I long for Home, but I know that I am not really ready, yet. I know that I still have work to do here; work on myself, and work ministering to others. Otherwise, I would not still be here. So help me do that work. Help me to be content with who I am, and not be trying to change things (well, other than making the aforementioned positive changes).

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

"Oh, come to the Father,
through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory,
great things He hath done."
(Fanny Crosby, 1875)

Grace and peace, friends.

What Is Courage?

Good morning! Today is Sunday, October 25, 2020. Peace be with you!

Day 22,872

32 days until Thanksgiving

C and I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon rearranging the study/studio to set up the new PC (on which I am now typing). She also cleaned up the room a good bit, in the process.

I then set about to begin the tedious process of downloading various software programs that I use. I also had to retrieve backed up files from the old PC, which took longer than it should have. I literally had to do it manually from the back up drive that I have. Something about a software update . . . I don’t fully understand it. That took some time, and then I had to delete all of the old files from the back up drive, so it would have room to back them up from the new computer.

Then I had to download and install the Bible program that I use on my computers. It’s called E-Sword, and I like it a lot. It is a free program, but some of the Bible versions cost extra. If you happen to be interested, it can be found at this link.

I also had to download and install Dropbox, where I keep files that I need to access from various devices. And finally, I downloaded the Blizzard app that is used to launch World of Warcraft, and downloaded that game, as well.

Later today, I will be downloading and installing ProTools, as well as a couple other music software programs that I have on my laptop.

Here’s picture of the computer, the keyboard, and the mouse. It turns out that the “innards” of this iBuyPower PC is made by MSI, which I’m really pumped about. My laptop is MSI, and I love it.

The colors that you see on those devices are all changing constantly.

Today we have our worship gathering of The Church at Brandon and Kristin’s, at 10:15. We will likely order lunch from Applebee’s afterward.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.
(The Prayer of St. Francis)

Scriptures and Prayers from The Divine Hours

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
(Psa 96:7-9)

Today I am grateful:

  1. For another opportunity to devote ourselves to the Apostles’ teachings, the prayers, the fellowship, and the breaking of bread together
  2. For Your light and Your truth that lead me to Your dwelling (Psalm 43:3)
  3. That there is no one like You
  4. For courage
  5. For singing

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
(Psalms 43:3-4 ESV)

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
(Psalms 42:1-2 ESV)

For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—
(Psalms 18:31 ESV)

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God!
“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”
(Deuteronomy 32:1-4 ESV)

O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
(Psalms 116:16-19 ESV)

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
(Kyrie)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

"Merciful God,
who sent your messengers the prophets
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Grant us grace to heed
their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ
our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
now and for ever.
Amen."
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)
"Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father,
you have brought me in safety to this new day:
Preserve me with your mighty power,
that I may not fall into sin,
nor be overcome by adversity;
and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose;
through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Amen."
(The Divine Hours, The Concluding Prayer of the Church)

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:1-9 ESV)

Three times in this passage, Joshua is told to be “strong and courageous.” It is said that when something is repeated three times, it means that it is really important.

What is “courage?”

Many people seem to think that it is the absence of fear. John Wayne is alleged to have said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” I’ve always like that quote, regardless of who said it.

Some folks think courage means being ready to fight. That may be true, sometimes, but not always. I found an article on HuffPost.com by Rebecca Perkins. I like what she wrote. She said:

“We take so much of our strength and resilience for granted. Courage isn’t about being a battle-ready soldier; some days there is courage in saying, ‘tomorrow is another day’. We show courage on a daily basis because our lives and the lives of those we love matter to us. When we feel deeply passionate about something, we find courage easily — for example we find superhuman strength to protect our children. So let us find that same passion and courage for ourselves, trusting that whatever our circumstances are right now (and regardless of whether we feel courageous), we can find a valuable seam of courage if we dig just below the surface.”

She then offers this quote by Mary Anne Radmacher: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the silent voice at the end of the day that says ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”

Then she offers this extensive list, and I’m going to go ahead and share all of it, because I really like it.

• Courage is saying sorry
• Courage is knowing when to say ‘enough’
• Courage is saying I love you
• Courage is saying yes
• Courage is saying no
• Courage is being truthful with oneself
• Courage is knowing that we screwed up
• Courage is admitting we can’t cope alone
• Courage is letting go
• Courage is reaching out
• Courage is standing up for something we believe in
• Courage is burning our boats and never going back
• Courage is doing something new
• Courage is being willing to receive
• Courage is trusting someone again
• Courage is choosing love over fear
• Courage is standing up for oneself
• Courage is choosing to truly live
• Courage is  learning to love again
• Courage is believing in oneself for the first time
• Courage is being vulnerable
• Courage is breaking with tradition
• Courage is asking for help
• Courage is stopping to rest
• Courage is letting the tears flow
• Courage is continuing through adversity
• Courage is trusting that all will be well

In light of this list, I would dare say that all of us have, at some point or another in our lives, been courageous. And I would also add that it sometimes takes courage to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Father, I thank You for courage, in whatever form it takes. I can say that You have given me the courage to keep on, throughout my whole life. It doesn’t always mean fighting; it doesn’t always mean refraining from tears. And it doesn’t always mean standing my ground. Whatever it means, in any given situation, You have provided me with courage. I thank You and praise You, and look forward to seeing what You have in store for me next.

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!

Train me, GOD, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord; I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to.
(Psalms 86:11-12 MSG)

Grace and peace, friends.