Today is Saturday, August 26, 2017. Day 21,716. Nine days until the Labor Day holiday!
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ Dalai Lama
“Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem.” ~ John Galsworthy
Just a word on these two quotes. For the first one, I believe a lot of Jesus’s teachings could be summarized by the Dalai Lama’s quote. For the second one, I agree 100%. The farther we are from the situation, the more expertly we seem to believe we can solve the problem, and the louder we express our opinions. Something to ponder on the Saturday in August.
Word of the Day
Funster ~ “a person who creates or seeks fun, as a comedian or reveler.”
Today is Women’s Equality Day, so deemed because it was this date in 1920 when women were first allowed to vote. “You’ve come a long way, baby,” said Virginia Slims. Sadly, we still have a long way to go.
On a lighter note, it’s also Cherry Popsicle Day. I may have to see if I can get me one of those!
I haven’t done birthdays in a long time, but on August 26, 1910, Mother Teresa was born, in Skopje, Macedonia. I think that’s a notable birthday to recognize.
I had to work a little over an hour late, yesterday. I know I’m blessed to have a job, but this having to work late almost every Friday is getting old. As is driving 60 miles round trip every day. But it is what it is, and finding a new job when you’re almost 60 years old is no piece of cake. Or pie. Or cherry popsicle. Plus, there’s the salary cut I would have to take.
The Rangers and Red Sox both lost last night. The Rangers lost 3-1 to the last place A’s, while the Red Sox were completely embarrassed by the O’s, 16-3. Fortunately, the Yankees lost, as well, so no ground was lost, there. They maintain a 4.5 lead in the AL East. The Rangers, though, dropped back to two games out of the second wild card spot, while Seattle has moved to within a half game of that spot. Just for kicks, the Rangers’ wild card elimination number is 33. With 34 games remaining. So this could go right up to the last day of the season.
Nothing much planned today, and tomorrow, we have a quartet leading our worship music, so I won’t have much to do there, either, other than helping with setup and tear-down.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
(From The Divine Hours)
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
(From Practice Resurrection)
Continuing in the series of words that Eugene Peterson highlights in Ephesians 1:3-14. The fifth verb is lavished. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7-8).
As noted in a previous entry, Paul uses the word “bestowed” only once in Ephesians, “but with striking appropriateness, transmuting the noun ‘grace’ into a surprising new verb form.” Paul and Luke are the “only early church writers who used it.” But his word “lavish,” occurs much more frequently. It is, says Peterson, everywhere. In fact, it appears to be one of Paul’s favorite words. “We might say he uses it lavishly.”
This word, in various form, appears seventy-eight times in the New Testament, and Paul uses forty-five of those. He can’t seem to get enough of the word. Does he overdo it? “I don’t think so,” says Peterson. “In matters of God’s grace, hyperboles are understatements.”
Before moving on, let’s pin down what “lavish” means. As adjective, it means, “sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious,” as in a lavish banquet. As verb, it means, “bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon.”
Peterson quotes a poem by Gerald Manley Hopkins, called “God’s Grandeur.”
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men the now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade, bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Father, may I ponder, today, this word. Lavish. The grace which you have lavished upon us. May that not escape my thinking for the rest of this day, nay, for the rest of my life! Keep me thinking on this as I ponder the events in the world around me, and in the world not around me. You have lavished; you have spent extravagantly upon us, your children. May we be grateful for all of this, although our gratitude would not nearly be enough.
Even so, 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.