Pray Immediately

“The woods are lovely dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is heliolatry. A fitting word for this day, as it means, “sun worship.”

Today is Ice Cream Soda Day. That would be a fitting treat for this day.

Today is the first day of Summer, the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Officially, Summer begins at 6:34 PM today.

The weekend didn’t quite turn out as planned, but it was okay. We had a great day, Saturday, but then, as I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t feel well all night Saturday night. As yesterday progressed, I felt better, though. I had a nice Father’s Day just relaxing and mostly playing games all day. Actually, I pretty much played Until Dawn all day. I finally made myself quit so C and I could watch a movie together, last night. The game is pretty awesome. It’s like being in a horror movie, but interactive. Every decision you make, during the game, in some way affects the outcome. There are also places where you have to have split-second reactions. All of this creates a rather high level of anxiety. I didn’t even open the other game, yet. But there’s another weekend coming.

The Rangers finished a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, beating them 5-4. That, combined with the Red Sox taking the series from the Mariners, puts them 8.5 games above the second place team. The only team that is further ahead of the second place team is also the only team that has a better record than the Rangers. That would be the Cubs.

Oh, and for anyone who cares, the Cleveland Cavaliers put an end to the Golden State Warriors’ golden season last night, winning the NBA championship in game 7.

‘Tis Monday again, so back to work we go.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.

Psalm 84:1-7

“The act of worship internalizes the way of discipleship into habits of praise and obedience so that life is not a depressing descent into senility, but an exhilarating ascent to strength.”

“I lift my eyes to you, O God, in worship and adoration. I focus on your promises and expect your grace. I gather all my needs and desires and bring them to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Have You Come to “When” Yet?

And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.
Job 42:10

“The plaintive, self-centered, morbid kind of prayer, a dead-set that I want to be right, is never found in the New Testament.” Am I trying to be right with God? If so, I am rebelling against the atonement. I can’t make myself right with God. “I can only be right with God if I accept the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift.” I need to let go of any claims, of any thought of right to myself, and immerse myself “in the priestly work of intercession.” A lot of our prayers come from a place of disbelief in the atonement. I am already saved; Jesus has given me everything I need, and there is no reason to ask further for such things.

However, there is much need to pray for my friends, to “enter into the ministry of the interior.” Note that the Lord restored the wealth of Job “when he had prayed for his friends.” “The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer.”

Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. To me, this means that prayer should be like breathing, something we do without even thinking. When circumstances trouble us, we should pray immediately; when things threaten or trouble our friends, we should pray immediately; when we come in contact with people, we should pray immediately.

Father, teach me to pray in this way. I have had days where it seemed as if I had gotten it. But then there are more days where it’s obvious I have not gotten it. I pray that my habits will begin to put me in a place of constant prayer and devotion, throughout the day, that I might walk in your presence at all times.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

What We Were Made For

Good morning. It is Saturday, August 15, 2015. Four more days until Stephanie’s birthday!

Today’s word of the day, from dictionary.com, is heliolatry. This is an easy one. It means, “worship of the sun.” We get a lot of that in the summer, especially around the beaches, right? But I jest. That’s not really “sun worship.” I, myself, am not fond of the sun at all. I mean, I appreciate what it does for us, as far as, you know, keeping the Earth from hurtling through space on a trajectory to who knows where, as well as providing a temperature that is livable on the planet. But my skin and the sun do NOT get along at all.

Today is Relaxation Day. However, we have will be busy from noon until at least 7:00 PM, so we will have to “celebrate” relaxation day tomorrow. At least this one fell on the weekend!

I wound up only have to work thirty minutes late, yesterday, so that wasn’t too bad. Christi left when I told her I was leaving, so we got home at close to the same time. She picked up BBQ and I picked up Sonic drinks. We watched several TV shows, then she went to bed, while I stayed up and watched American Mary on Netflix. I’m not going to describe that movie here. It was one of those that makes one quite uncomfortable.

We are having lunch with a friend, this afternoon, so that will be nice. After that, it will be our usual Sunday afternoon/evening activities, with our Anchor Prayer Gathering beginning at 4:45, and our Worship Gathering at 5:45. We will be up at the church around 3:00 or so, to help get things ready.

Tomorrow, other than our normal grocery shopping, I don’t think we have any plans, so it should be a good “Relaxation Day.”

On this date in 1540, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, along with six other classmates, take vows. This would lead to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September. In 1843, Tivoli Gardens opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. It remains open today, making it one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. In 1914, the Panama Canal opened to traffic. On this date in 1935, Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed when their aircraft crashed during takeoff in Barrow, Alaska. In 1941, the last execution occurred at the Tower of London, when Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad, for treason. On this date in 1965,

And on this date in 1969, Richie Havens opened up Woodstock.

Today’s birthdays include Napoleon Bonaparte (French dictator), Sir Walter Scott (Scottish novelist), Charles Comiskey (American baseball owner), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (English composer), Edna Ferber (American novelist), Julia Child (American cook), Rose Marie (American actress), Bobby Helms (American pop singer), Jimmy Webb (American musician), Stieg Larsson (Swedish writer), Debra Messing (American actress), Ben Affleck (American actor and Red Sox fan), Natasha Henstridge (Canadian actress), Kerri Walsh (American beach volleyball player), and Joe Jonas (American musician).

Jimmy Webb is an American songwriter who has written numerous hits for other artists. Among some of his more well-known songs are “Up, Up and Away,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “The Worst That Could Happen,” “All I Know,” and “MacArthur Park.” As you can see his transcends genre.

Here is Glen Campbell’s recording of “Wichita Lineman.”

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Today’s Bible reading will be Genesis 48-49 and Matthew 22.

Today’s Psalm reading, from Heart Aflame, is Psalm 91:14-15.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”

“Here it is noticeable that God, in declaring from heaven that we shall be safe under the wings of his protection, speaks of nothing as necessary on the part of his people but hope or trust.” (p 228)

(From Solid Joys)

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God . . .
1 Peter 3:18

Today’s reading is “What We Were Made For.”

“The gospel is the enjoyment of fellowship with God himself.” This is expressed in the verse, above, by the phrase, “that he might bring us to God.” Pretty much any reason for the gospel leads to this.

Consider:

  • “We are forgiven so that our guilt does not keep us away from God.
  • We are justified so that our condemnation does not keep us away from God.
  • We are given eternal life now, with new bodies in the resurrection, so that we have the capacities for enjoying God to the fullest.”

We should examine our hearts to see why we want forgiveness, justification, and eternal life. If it is for any other reason than to be with God and enjoy him forever, we need to rethink that. (It doesn’t mean we aren’t forgiven or justified, mind you, but just that perhaps our motivation is off kilter.)

The greatest gift that God has given us, in the gospel, is himself. “That is what we were made for.”

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Father, I pray that my motivations are pure. I pray that the reason that I want forgiveness, justification, and eternal life is so that I can enjoy your presence forever. I can think of nothing better. There is no experience that I have encountered in this life that can compare with simply being in your presence. Let that be my motivation for everything.

I pray for this day. May we have a great time of fellowship with Lindsey, this afternoon. I pray that our prayer and worship gatherings will glorify you and lift you high. I pray also that we will have some good rest afterward, and that tomorrow will be a good day of rest, after we get the necessary errands run.

Thank you again that Rachel was able to pass her thesis defense and can now move on to whatever comes next in her life.

What do you desire most from God?

psalm-16-11

Grace and peace, friends.