Today is Friday, the twenty-seventh of August, 2021.
Ten days until Labor Day!
Not much to report from yesterday, except that I got my first paycheck from the library job! I did have to go to Hurst City Hall to retrieve it, as it was a paper check, this time. But the direct deposit should be processed by the next payday, which will be two weeks from yesterday. Again, the City of Hurst observes a pay schedule from Fridays to Thursdays. That’s different than what I’m used to, but presents no problems for me.
I spoke with someone from the Social Security office, yesterday, and got the not-so-welcome news that it will definitely be at least sixty days before anything happens. I may have even gotten laughed at, mildly, which doesn’t really offend me. The guy I spoke with told me to call them back if I haven’t heard anything by September 21.
I also called the COBRA people, who told me that they had mailed my information on August 19. Since I had not received it, yet, she gave me my user ID so I could go ahead and log in and create my account. So I did that, and went ahead and signed up to continue my health insurance with CIGNA, at least through the end of the year. The cost was pretty much what C had calculated, $550 a month and some change. I went ahead and paid the first month, because they don’t process anything until the first payment is made. They will, subsequently, alert CIGNA, who will backdate my coverage to July 30, and anything that occurred between then and now (which should only be the sleep study) will be covered.
Today is The Duchess Who Wasn’t Day. This celebrates the life of author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, and you can read more about her by clicking on the link.
The word for today is orogeny, a geological term which means, “the process of mountain making or upheaval.”
Today’s quote is from Oscar Wilde: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”
And now for the birthdays:
1809 Hannibal Hamlin, American attorney and 15th Vice President of U.S. (1861-65), born in Paris, Massachusetts (d. 1891) 1865 Charles G. Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States, banker and 1925 Nobel Peace Prize winner, born in Marietta, Ohio (d. 1951) 1890 Man Ray, American artist and photographer (Dada), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1976) 1899 Byron Foulger, American actor (River's Edge, Up in Smoke), born in Ogden, Utah (d. 1970) 1899 C. S. Forester, English historical novelist (Horatio Hornblower), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1966) 1906 Ed Gein, American serial killer who was the inspiration for the films "Psycho" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", born in La Crosse County, Wisconsin (d. 1984) 1908 Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th US President (Democrat: 1963-69), born in Stonewall, Texas (d. 1973) 1911 Kathleen "Kay" Walsh, British actress (The Horse's Mouth, Oliver Twist), born in Chelsea, London, England (d. 2005) 1914 Catherine Marshall, American editor and writer, born in Johnson City, Tennessee (d. 1983) 1916 Martha Raye [Margaret Reed], American actress (Waikiki Wedding, Martha Raye Show), born in Butte, Montana (d. 1994) 1921 Leo Penn, American actor and film director, father of Sean and Chris Penn, born in Lawrence, Massachusetts (d. 1998) 1928 Joan Kroc [Mansfield], American 3rd wife of Ray Kroc, the owner of McDonald's and the San Diego Padres, born in West St. Paul, Minnesota (d. 2003) 1929 Ira Levin, American author (Rosemary Baby, Boys From Brazil, This Perfect Day), born in NYC, New York (d. 2007) 1935 Frank Yablans, American writer (North Dallas Forty), born in NYC, New York 1937 Alice Coltrane [née McLeod], American jazz harp, piano, and organ player (Journey in Satchidananda), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2007) 1937 Tommy Sands, American actor (The Singing Idol; Ensign Pulver), and singer ("Teen-Age Crush"; "Love in a Goldfish Bowl"), born in Chicago, Illinois 1939 Edward Patten, American soul singer (Gladys Knight & the Pips), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2005) 1942 Daryl Dragon, American keyboardist (Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together"), born in Pasadena, California (d. 2019) 1942 "Chip" Douglas [Hatlelid], American songwriter, arranger, bassist (The Turtles, 1966-67 -"Happy Together"), and record producer (The Monkees), born in San Francisco, California 1943 [Susan] Tuesday Weld, American actress (Dobie Gillis, Wild in Country), born in NYC, New York 1944 Tim Bogert, American rock bassist (Vanilla Fudge; Jeff Beck), born in NYC, New York  (d. 2021) 1944 G W Bailey, Port Arthur, Texas, American actor (Police Academy, The Closer) 1947 Barbara Bach [Goldbach], American actress (The Spy Who Loved Me, Force 10 from Navarone), born in Queens, New York (still married to Ringo) 1952 Pee-wee Herman [Paul Reubens], American comic actor (Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie), born in Peekskill, New York 1953 Alex Lifeson [Živojinović], Serbian-Canadian rock guitarist (Rush - "Limelight"), born in n Fernie, British Columbia 1953 Peter Stormare, Swedish-born actor 1956 Glen Matlock, British punk rock bassist (The Sex Pistols; The Philistines), born in Paddington, London 1961 Mark Curry, British stage and screen actor, and television and radio presenter, born in Stafford, England (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) 1963 Downtown Julie Brown, Welsh TV personality and actress (Club MTV, The Earth Day Special, Junket Whore), born in Cardiff, Wales 1969 Chandra Wilson, American actress 1969 Avril Haines, American lawyer, 1st female Director of National Intelligence (2021-), born in New York City 1970 Jim Thome, infielder (Cleveland Indians), born in Peoria, Illinois 1970 Tony Kanal, Indian-American bassist and songwriter (No Doubt - "Don't Speak"), born in Kingsbury, London, England 1977 Sarah Chalke, Canadian American actress (Roseanne, Scrubs), born in Ottawa, Ontario 1979 Sarah Neufeld, Canadian violinist (Arcade Fire), born in British Columbia 1979 Aaron Paul, American actor (Breaking Bad, Need for Speed), born in Emmett, Idaho 1988 Alexa Vega, American actress
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
(Attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo)
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
(Psalms 51:14-17 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for the Holy Spirit, Who can work within us and create holiness in our lives 2. for the prayers of St. Augustine 3. that You have opened my lips, that my mouth might declare Your praise 4. that, like Moses, we, too, can speak with You, face to face, as with a friend 5. that when trouble comes, we can take refuge in the shadow of Your wings, until the disaster passes 6. for You
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK FOURTEEN – DAY SIX
The name of the LORD will be remembered forever, and he will be famous for all time to come.
(Psalms 135:13 CEV)
As I look around me, in this world, I wonder . . . will the name of the Lord truly be remembered? For it seems as though fewer and fewer care about Him. But then I remember that I’ve read the end of the story. The last Word on everything is Jesus Christ, and He will be remembered forever, and every knee will bow down before Him.
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave.
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me— God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
(Psalms 57:1-3, 5 NIV)
Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
(Exodus 33:12-23 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I rest in the presence of the Lord, I meditate on these passages, seeking truth that will guide me in my daily life.
What is our best course of action when trouble comes, when disaster strikes? We see it in the first verse of Psalm 57. We cry for mercy and take refuge in the shadow of His wings. We see, in verse 3, that He will “send from heaven” and save us. What does He send? I can only guess that He sends angels. Or some other manifestation of His great power. Embedded in all of this is the great confidence that He cares for His children.
And because of this confidence, we can, as verse 7 indicates, exalt Him. We can declare His praises when His Spirit loosens our lips.
And we can hope for even a fraction of the revelation that Moses received in Exodus 33! What a glorious story that is! Moses has just come back up to the mountain after the debacle that was the idolatry of Israel, the golden calf incident. His brother has played the fool, and then lied about his own responsibility in the matter. And three thousand Israelites died that day.
And now Moses is before the Lord again, having come up to attempt to make atonement for the sins of the people. God has commanded them to leave Sinai and make their way to the “promised land.”
The verse right before our passage today is also a great one. “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”
Pre-pandemic, I used to go have coffee with a good friend, our former pastor. We would sit in comfy chairs at the coffee shop and talk to one another, usually about a book that we were both reading. This is the image that Exodus 33:11 puts in my head. Another image that I believe fits is captured well by the Internet comic, “Coffee with Jesus.” While it frequently contains humorous silliness, it depicts a different character each day, casually sipping a cup of coffee, while conversing with Jesus. Some folks I know are offended by this, and obviously think that Jesus is never less than serious about anything, and never spoke any words other than what was recorded in the Bible. Of course, even the Bible, itself, debunks that theory.
But I digress.
Back to the image of Moses conversing with God, face to face, as with a friend. The “WOW” factor is beyond imagination.
In the conversation that follows (our passage for today), Moses makes this request of God.
“If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
(Exodus 33:13 NIV)
I actually memorized that verse, once, in the ESV.
“Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
(Exodus 33:13 ESV)
And if we leave out that last sentence (because that will never be true about any nation other than Israel), it is a perfectly proper prayer (how’s that for some alliteration?) for any of us to pray.
And we see how the Lord honored that prayer for Moses, who subsequently received a first-hand glimpse of the glory of God!
Father, I echo this prayer of Moses today. If I have found favor in Your sight, please show me now Your ways, that I may know You even more, that I might find even more favor in Your sight. I know that I do, say, and think things that might cause me to not find favor in Your sight. But I also know that these things are erased by the blood of Christ. Not an excuse, mind You, but an acknowledgment of Your great mercy and grace. Lord, it should be the goal of every believer to have the kind of relationship with You that Moses had. I would speak with You, face to face, as with a friend. What an honor to be considered a “friend of God.” May Your Holy Spirit constantly lead me in that direction!
I also give You praise and thanksgiving that we can take refuge in the shadow of Your wings, as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 57.
Lord, give us more awe and gratitude for the cross of Jesus Christ. I pray for all who are living in poverty and injustice, today, as well as those who are living in solitude and loneliness. May You be their friend today!
"Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, keep me from dissecting your dynamic life into stale abstractions or lifeless schemas. Instead, give me a faith that's bigger than my intellectual grasp so I may know your name, take up your invitation to enjoy your presence, and enter your community of love. Amen."
God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 CEV)
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
(Psalms 37:4 NLT)
Then I will rejoice in the LORD. I will be glad because he rescues me.
(Psalms 35:9 NLT)
“God, no matter what happens today, my life is good. You make it so.”
(Amy Eddings, Daily Guideposts 2021)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
(James 5:16 NLT)
And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.
(1 John 5:14 NLT)
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!
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.