Today is Friday, December 14, 2018. Second week of Advent.
Eleven days until Christmas!!
“There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”
Maya Angelou, American poet, 1928-2014
The word of the day is zibeline, “a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair, alpaca, or camel’s hair.”
I’m off work today, but did not, as it turns out, go to Mineral Wells for breakfast with Mama. They cancelled the breakfast because of the weather forecast. I suppose there was a chance of some snow or otherwise “wintery” weather. It didn’t turn out that way, but I guess it was better to be safe than sorry, as they say. I’ll plan to do this another Friday in the Spring, sometime.
I do have a couple of plans for the day, though. One is to go out to the library, after 10:00 AM, and get my card renewed. I got an email last week that said it would expire in fourteen days. Apparently, all I have to do is visit the library with my driver’s license, and they will renew it. I will also take the opportunity, probably, to wrap some presents that I have for C. And I need to go over some music for Sunday, as well, and even think ahead to Sunday, the 23rd, which will likely be a more simplified worship time, with strictly Christmas songs.
I’m sure I will also go out and get something to eat for S and me. Or we may order it to be delivered. That remains to be seen.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
Today I am grateful:
1. That it didn’t snow or ice or anything like that. C still had to drive to work, as did many others.
2. That the Lord has seen fit to allow me to participate in leading worship on Sundays (I have been asked to lead the worship time on January 13)
3. For art that expresses the soul
4. That I have the kind of personality that can appreciate such art, for example, poems like “She Walks in Beauty,” by Lord Byron
5. For a day at home that’s not a normal weekend day
“Seek the Lord while he wills to be found;
call upon him when he draws near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the evil ones their thoughts;
And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion,
and to our God, for he will richly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as rain and snow fall from the heavens
and return not again, but water the earth,
Bringing forth life and giving growth,
seed for sowing and bread for eating,
So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;
it will not return to me empty;
But it will accomplish that which I have purposed,
and prosper in that for which I sent it.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, “The Second Song of Isaiah,” Isaiah 55:6-11)
As I read the passage above, and re-read it in the ESV, I am filled with hopefulness for life. We may seek the Lord, and, thus far, He still wills to be found. We are told, in various places, that there will come a day when He will no longer be “seekable.” The Bible describes a terrible “Day of the Lord.”
I have sought the Lord, and found Him. Each day, I seek Him more. Why seek something that you’ve already found? Because I haven’t found all of Him, yet. I know. That doesn’t make much sense. But you see, there is so much to God, so much that I don’t understand, or, as Robert Heinlein coined, “grok.” Therefore, I seek Him daily.
I need His strength to forsake my wicked ways on a consistent basis. My flesh fights against my spirit, leading me toward sin. But I fight along with my spirit, that I might daily turn to the Lord and see His compassion and pardon, and try to know His thoughts.
Verse 11 is a verse that I used to hear my pastor pray every Sunday. When I was a child, Pastor Don Turner was my pastor. I still remember him praying that God’s word would accomplish the purpose for which it was sent, and, as the KJV puts it, “it shall not return unto me void.” Honestly, this is not something that we need to pray for; it is a promise. “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” It shall accomplish . . . it shall succeed!
This morning, I continued reading the passage beyond verse 11. “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
May this happen for us, in our lifetime.
Father, help me to seek You today. Remind me that there is still plenty of You that I have not found. I look forward to the day when there is no more seeking. I look forward to the day when there is no more temptation to sin. I look forward to the day when Your people will live in peace and harmony, when there will be no more hatred and fear; the day when we will know as we are known.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
Grace and peace, friends.