Today is Thursday, the ninth of September, 2021.
Thirteen days until the Autumnal Equinox signals the official end of Summer. The days are, of course, already getting shorter, and I noted that, this past Tuesday evening, when I got off work at 8:15, it was already mostly dark.
The big news today is that I awoke to find my first Social Security payment deposited to our checking account! This, of course, make us breathe a bit easier, because we know this is done, and we know what we will see each month.
The first thing I did was to reactivate my WW (formerly Weight Watchers) account, but as a digital only account. I will not be attending meetings, but will continue using the digital tools. I need that “crutch” in my journey. For the past month, I have felt like I was walking in the dark. Digital-only is less than half of the full price, and I’m getting a pretty good discount from that for the first six months, because I committed to at least six months. My first month is free, and I will pay $15-ish for the next five months, then it will go to full price, $21.95.
C continues to improve. In fact, she said that she did not take any pain meds during the night last night. She did take one around 8:00 this morning, but that is exciting to hear.
I have no idea what I will do for the rest of today, after finishing this. I have a couple things in mind, to do today and/or tomorrow (or maybe both). And the reality of retirement is finally sinking in, since that SS payment appeared, today. It is a remarkably peaceful and calming feeling.
Today is Wonderful Weirdos Day. Embrace your inner weirdo.
The word for today is glitz, a noun which means, “ostentatious glitter or sophistication.” Glitz is helpful in celebrating Wonderful Weirdos Day. It can also be used as a verb. “I glitzed myself up for Wonderful Weirdos Day.”
Today’s quote is from E. Joseph Cossman, an American inventor. “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.” There is great truth to this. I am reminded of Peter’s brief walk on the water. As soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus, his goal, he saw the waves and began to sink.
Significant birthdays on September 9:
William Bligh, British naval commander on the infamous HMS Bounty, 1754-1817 Leo Tolstoy, Russian author (War and Peace, Anna Karenina), 1828-1910 Harlan Sanders, the Colonel (KFC), 1890-1980 Phyllis Whitney, American mystery author, 1903-2008 Otis Redding, singer/songwriter (Dock of the Bay), 1941-1967
Doug Ingle, rock vocalist (Iron Butterfly), 1946 (76)
Jeffrey Combs, American actor (Re-Animator, From Beyond, and other Lovecraftian films, as well as a number of Star Trek characters), 1954 (67)
Hugh Grant, English actor (Notting Hill, Love Actually, About A Boy), 1960 (61)
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
God Speaks, by Daryl Madden
A truth that we know God is everywhere Let it come to reason That He is speaking here In this very moment In all we feel and see Heard within the silence How is He calling me? A gift of nature’s beauty Wisdom in the Word A soul within the way Event that has occurred Let us come to practice Attune the soul to hear The joy within the binding Where each thought is a prayer
“This is what the LORD says: You have said, ‘This is a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.’ Yet in the empty streets of Jerusalem and Judah’s other towns, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD. They will sing, ‘Give thanks to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!’ For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.
(Jeremiah 33:10-11 NLT)
Today I am grateful:
1. for my Social Security payment coming in 2. for C's continued improvement 3. for the promises of joyful singing and praise in Your eternal kingdom 4. that my life is full of Your blessings 5. that You are great and mighty
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK SIXTEEN – DAY FIVE
The LORD is good; he protects his people in times of trouble; he takes care of those who turn to him.
(Nahum 1:7 GNB)
As I pause in this quiet moment, I meditate on the joyous potential in our encounters and interactions in God’s presence. I try to focus on that presence as I begin meditating on His Word.
For the director of music. Of David. A petition.
Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, LORD, to help me.
May those who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; LORD, do not delay.
(Psalms 70:1-5 NIV)
If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you.
(Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 9-10 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I read these passages again, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers.
David asks for protection from those who seek his life, but then he also asks that everyone who is actively seeking the Lord be able to rejoice and be glad in Him. Again, as previously noted, as far as I know, I have no humans seeking to take my life. I do, however, as do all followers of Christ, have spiritual enemies who would seek to derail and discredit my testimony. For me, though, the more important piece of this is praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that they are able to rejoice, be glad in Him, and be able to confidently say, “The LORD is great!”
In Deuteronomy, we see some promises, or, perhaps, consequences to obedience. I realize that this is specifically directed, by Moses, to Israel. Fair enough. But what can we glean from it, in 2021?
First of all, this idea of fully obeying “all His commands,” has, I believed has effectively been narrowed down to those two “jobs” I keep talking about. Love God and love people. Jesus has informed us that these two commands summarize the entirety of the Law and the Prophets.
If we can do those things, I believe that there are certain consequences that are presented here. No, we aren’t promised a “rose garden.” But we will have blessed lives. I believe that I have seen this come true in my own family. It’s not perfect. But neither am I. I have not been perfect in keeping those two commands, not by a long shot. But I believe that I have a blessed life. And I believe that I can take that stance by keeping my eyes focused on the Lord and His blessings, and not on those obstacles mentioned by our quote of the day.
As for the promises regarding being a “holy people,” and other nations fearing them, I also believe that those are exclusive to Old Testament Israel.
Father, I praise You for my blessed life. I thank You for Your greatness, displayed in my life and in the lives of others who follow You faithfully. I thank You that, long ago, You placed it in my heart to love You and love others. I am grateful that You are helping me more with the loving others part of this, lately. Most of all, I am grateful that I can proclaim, along with Israel, “The LORD is great!”
Help me to grow in holiness, as I grow in You. I pray that You would continue to uncover and reveal any idols that might still be in my heart. I thank You for Your forgiveness, and pray for Your help in extending that to others.
"Good God, I know You're the source of everything good - Your generous care and daily blessing are steadily on display. Help me also know the call of Your blessing - that I will never fully enjoy Your blessing until it's enjoyed by all. Make me a blessing to all in my life so they too know Your goodness. Amen."
“Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 GNB)
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
(1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Psalms 23:1-6 ESV)
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!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.