Today is Wednesday, April 17, 2019.
Wednesday of Holy Week
Twenty-two days until our Vegas trip!!
Quote of the Day
“The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.”
P.J. O’Rourke, American comedian, 1947-
Word of the Day
Florilegium ~ A compilation of excerpts; anthology. (Wordsmith A.Word.A.Day)
I am not feeling well, this morning. I wasn’t feeling too bad last night, when we went to bed, but it got worse during the night. Chest feels heavy, and my face feels full of gunk. I assume it’s the somewhat yearly case of “the crud,” as we call it around here, aka, sinu-bronchitis. I’m probably going on in to work, though. I don’t have fever, and, having taken Dayquil about a half hour ago, am already feeling a little better. I just feel like I could sleep all day.
We had a bit of unwanted excitement, yesterday. At around 11:30 AM, our pastor messaged our prayer team that our trailer was stolen from outside the YMCA where our church gathers to worship. This trailer has all of our stuff in it, from sound equipment to children’s ministry materials to Bibles, pens, and prayer request cards to coffee and a coffee maker. At around 7:00 PM, he let us know that the trailer had been found. It had been dropped behind a Chicken Express, about a half mile from the YMCA. It seems the would-be thieves could not manage to cut through the heavy-duty locks on the back of the trailer, so they ditched it. I’m not sure what we plan to do with it, at this point. Our pastor’s initial reaction blesses me, though. Upon learning that the trailer had been stolen, he said, “I’ve been saying for a while now that all we need is the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the Table, and each other. Nothing can steal those things from us.”
Mike Minor and the Texas Rangers shut out Mike Trout and the rest of the LA Angels last night, 5-0. Minor pitched the complete game and only gave up three hits. I am stunned. Cabrera and Gallo both hit home runs in the game. The Rangers are now 9-7, in third place in the AL West. They will play again tonight at 7:05 PM, weather permitting. The weather folks are threatening us with storms this evening. Lance Lynn will take the mound for Texas.
The Boston Red Sox were shut out in New York, 8-0, as Chris Sale took his fourth loss for the season. Not much else to say about it. The Sox aren’t hitting, at least not very often, and the pitching is not there. And it’s mostly the same team that won over 100 games last season, along with the World Series. Oh, well. They are now 6-12, back in fifth place in the AL East. They have another game in NY this evening at 5:35 PM CDT. Nathan Eovaldi will take the mound for the Sox.
The Tampa Bay Rays are currently the best team in baseball. I’m taking a minute to process this fact. They are also the only team in the AL East with a winning record. The Miami Marlins are holding down the worst spot at the moment, at 4-14.
And I have a question for other bloggers who might read this. Are you all getting followed and liked by a bunch of mortgage blogs?? I have at least six of them that are liking almost every post. Seriously.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
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.
Today I am grateful:
1. For coffee
2. For over-the-counter cold medication
3. For the hope of resurrection Sunday
4. The power of the Cross
5. For the grace of God to help me carry the cross
“O Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his back to
the smiters and hid not his face from shame: Grant us grace
to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full
assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same
thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with
thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Wednesday in Holy Week)
(From The Root of the Righteous, A.W. Tozer)
Today’s reading is “The Cross Is A Radical Thing.”
“The cross of Christ is the most revolutionary thing ever to appear among men.”
The Roman cross was one of, if not the, most terrible, tortuous methods of execution ever devised by the minds of men. It always won; it won by killing all of its opponents and silencing them forever. Jesus Christ was placed on the cross, alive, and six hours later, they took him down, completely dead. Of course, he was not silenced forever, as we know.
After that Sunday morning, when he arose from the dead, his apostles went out to preach the gospel message, and they preached the cross. “And wherever they went into the wide world they carried the cross, and the same revolutionary power went with them.” This message of the cross changed Saul of Tarsus from a persecutor and killer of Christians to a believer “and an apostle of faith.”
When did the cross lose it’s power? “When it was changed from a thing of death to a thing of beauty. When men made of it a symbol, hung it around their necks as an ornament or made its outline before their faces as a magic sign to ward off evil, then it became at best a weak emblem, at worst a positive fetish. As such it is revered today by millions who know absolutely nothing about its power.”
What the true cross does is destroy one established pattern and establish another. “It wins by defeating its opponent and imposing its will upon him. It always dominates. It never compromises, never dickers nor confers, never surrenders a point for the sake of peace.”
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said this: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Just as the cross ended Jesus’s human life, it brings our “first life” to an end. “It destroys the old patter, the Adam pattern, in the believer’s life, and brings it to an end. Then the God who raised Christ from the dead raises the believer and a new life begins.”
This is the essence of Christianity. But, “A shallow ans worldly leadership would modify the cross to please the entertainment-mad saintlings who will have their fun even within the very sanctuary; but to do so is to court spiritual disaster and risk the anger of the Lamb turned Lion.”
We must be willing to follow in the steps of Jesus and “endure the cross and despise its same for the joy that is set before us.”
Father, help me to carry my cross today. Help me to endure it, not alter it, not change its message. I pray for the Church today, that it would stop muddying the waters with all of the flashy lights and entertainment-styled “worship.” Change our hearts, O God. Give us, once again, the power of the Cross of Christ.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4
Grace and peace, friends.