Today is Wednesday, the sixth of July, 2022, in the fourteenth wee of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ be in your heart today!
Last night was a pleasant and fine evening at the library. I had plenty to do, and enjoyed several conversations with some of my favorite people. There was one humorous moment when, as I was shelving a cart of DVDs, a patron who was looking for, apparently, nothing in particular, started browsing my cart (I was away from it, putting away a handful of DVDs). Of course, I don’t mind if they do that, because, hopefully, they will decide to take some and that is less for me to put back on the shelf.
Unfortunately, in this case, he was also rearranging them as he browsed. I actually chuckled about it, and, rather than approach him, I walked away and told a couple of my workmates what he was doing, and they got a good laugh out of it, too. One of them told me that, back when they had many more carts to shelve, they would just bring all of the DVD carts out and set them up by the circulation desk, and let people browse them there, hoping that they would check them out. Makes sense.
The “damage” was minimal, in my case, and I was able to re-sort the ones that had been mixed up in just a few minutes. That may have been the most full DVD cart I have ever put away, though. The cart has three shelves on each side, and one whole side was full, plus on shelf on the other side. The second shelf on the other side was about 3/4 full of audio books, which are near the DVDs in proximity.
Today, I’m working 9:15-6:15 in the circ department.
The Rangers lost again, last night, to the Orioles, 10-9, in a bit of a slugfest. And it was, once again, in extra innings, so the stupid “zombie runner” was in play. I really detest that practice. I can almost understand putting something like that in during the ridiculous pandemic season of 2020. But they should not have kept it. It reeks of Little League. I think what Manfred and his cronies don’t seem to get is that the true baseball fan doesn’t want a quicker game! I’ll never forget that World Series game in 2018. It was game three, and Boston was up 2 games to zero, against the Dodgers. Game three went eighteen innings!! Eighteen! That’s two complete games. I stayed up to watch the whole freaking thing (I think it was Friday night, so I didn’t have to work the next day). Of course I was disgusted when the Dodgers won it in the bottom of the eighteenth inning, but that is baseball, folks! The sad thing is that Nathan Eovaldi, who became a Boston hero after that game, took the loss. The reason he became a hero was because he came in and pitched most of the second half of the game. It was the longest World Series game in history, both by innings and time. What one Boston fan reminded us, though, was that it took the Dodgers eighteen innings and nine pitchers to finally beat the Red Sox in a WS game. And it was the only game Boston lost in that World Series.
Speaking of Boston, they also lost, yesterday, 8-4, to the Rays. So it wasn’t a good baseball day for me. The Rangers play Baltimore again, tonight, and the Sox play the Rays again tonight. Texas is now two games behind Seattle, in third place in the AL West, 15.5 out of first place and 5.5 out of the Wild Card. Boston is still in second place, one game ahead of Tampa, 13 out of first and still in the first Wild Card spot.
Oakland continues to have the worst record, at 28-55, but they have won a couple of games. The Astros must still have their trash cans, because they have now won EIGHT straight games. The Giants and Nats are still duking it out to see who can lose the most, both having lost six straight games. The Blue Jays (Woohoo!) are trying to catch them, though, with a five-game losing streak. The Nationals have now been outscored by 129 runs. The Rangers have gone down to +11, and the Sox are back at +59, after yesterday’s loss to the Rays.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Dear Father in heaven, open our hearts to the wonder of being able to call you Father, the wonder of being united with you. You are the source of all life and strength. In you is redemption, and we need to be redeemed before we can live rightly. Take from us the pressures forced on us by the flood of events. Make us completely free as people led by your hand, people who may be joyful because everything will be overcome through the power you grant us in Jesus Christ. Protect us from fear and from all evil. Show more and more clearly your good and wonderful goal for all people on earth, so that in expectation they may find happiness even in all the stress of today. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
(Romans 8:14-15a NIV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for our Father in heaven, the source of all life and strength 2. for the sparrows and lilies; I need to consider them 3. for The Choir and their music 4. for the work of the Holy Spirit, especially when I don't know He's working 5. for how much we, the community of saints, need one another
Today’s word, from Pray a Word a Day, is consider. I rather like this word.
Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
(1 Samuel 12:24 ESV)
To “consider” something means to take some time, look at it, think about it, maybe even contemplate. “Consider the lilies,” Jesus said in Matthew 6. It’s interesting to me (not necessarily relevant, but still interesting) that Matthew actually uses two different Greek words. In verse 26, the KJV says “Behold,” and the ESV says “Look at,” in reference to the birds. The Greek word is emblepo, which literally means to “look on,” or “observe.” In verse 28, the Greek word, translated “consider” in most translations, is katamanthano, which means “learn thoroughly” or “consider.” Two different terms that mean pretty close to the same thing.
One of the reasons that I take the time every morning to do this is so that I can do exactly that: consider, look upon, learn thoroughly, behold. It takes time and attention. This life is way too busy. I had a conversation with a coworker, last night, about that. I had expressed hope that maybe, just maybe, the pandemic might have slowed us down a little, as a society. And it seemed that maybe it had.
But now, I don’t think so. We are still as busy as ever. The sad thing is that we make time for the things that are important to us, which is why the phrase “I don’t have time,” is usually a lie, or at best delusional. We have time for whatever we truly want to do. We make time.
What we need to take more time for is considering. There’s a song that I like by one of my favorite bands that most people have never heard of. The band is The Choir, and the song, as it turns out, is simply called “Consider.” And yes, the album is called “Chase the Kangaroo.”
Consider your laughter Consider My tears Consider My love Consider your fear Consider one small child Consider your cross Consider the hope that withers like a flower Consider My loss Consider the fire Consider the night Consider the truth Consider the light, my love Consider your heart Consider your heart Consider your heart Consider My love, my love Consider the darkness Consider My love, my love Consider the flame Consider My love, my love Consider the Ghost of the living Savior Remember My love Remember My name Consider your heart Remember my name Consider your heart Remember my name Consider your heart
As we go about our day today, may we take time to stop and consider; consider His love; consider His cross; consider our hearts; remember His Name.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:8 NIV)
I think it is safe to say that most of the time, we are not aware of the Spirit’s leading and guiding in our lives. And I think that might just be intentional.
Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.
(Deuteronomy 4:12 NIV)
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
(Isaiah 30:21 NIV)
My ears will not always hear a voice telling me to turn right or left, or saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” In fact, as I can recall, I have never heard an audible voice.
But I can say that I have felt the Spirit “nudging” me in a particular direction. One time, I specifically remember, I didn’t follow. I still, to this day regret that. Regrets, though, are like . . . well, I don’t know what they are like. I shouldn’t have started that sentence. They can be good or bad. If we spend too much time regretting things, we won’t move forward. I have most definitely moved forward from that time, which was well over three decades ago. But I still think about it, from time to time, and wonder what would look differently today, had I followed the Spirit that time.
One of the things that we need to do, in light of this, though is (wait for it!) . . .
I love when it works out this way!
Yes. We the “voice” of the Holy Spirit is something that we must consider. While I do still believe it to be true that He leads us, at times, without us even knowing it, there are definitely still times when we need to be stopping and considering; we need to stop and contemplate or meditate or look upon or observe whatever might be in front of us. Those sparrows and lilies are there for a reason, friends!
As I continue to consider (see?) the issues that the Church is experiencing with modern worship practices, Eugene H. Peterson brings up this word “interdependences.”
While we are truly “interdependent” upon many things economically and physically, many of us don’t consider how interdependent we are, spiritually, as well. And this is, once again, reflected in modern worship music that is almost totally “me-centric.” We begin to feel that we don’t need anyone else. Oh, sure, we need Jesus (or do we, really??), but we can be a “Christian” by ourselves, right? We don’t need all those other people around us to worship, right?
“The church is the most complete expression of all these interdependences. It is an expression of them in terms of God’s grace – a grace that surrounds us and moves through us as people created to enjoy (and depend on) the praise of his glory.”
If you think, for one minute, that you don’t need anyone else in your spiritual life, you need to re-read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The first one. Specifically chapter 12.
Saints, we all need one another. We are, indeed, interdependent.
(From On Living Well, by Eugene H. Peterson)
Father, as I go through this day, help me, remind me, to stop and consider. Help me to consider Your love for us; help me to consider my heart; to consider Your Cross and my/our Savior. Help me to just stop and be mindful of all the things that You have done for, through, and in us, Your Body of Christ.
Thank You for the Holy Spirit and His interaction in our lives. Help us to be more aware of His work, as we walk through our days, to, once again, consider what He is doing in and for us.
And I am grateful for the community of saints and how much we need each other to get by in this world. May we never forget that, and may we reverse the trend of thinking we can do this life alone.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NIV)
Grace and peace, friends.