Today is Tuesday, the thirtieth of November, 2021. First Tuesday of Advent. Last day of November.
May God’s peace be with you, today.
Twenty-five days until the twenty-fifth of December.
I was rudely awakened, this morning, but the sound of things crashing and breaking. C came running out of the bathroom, and I jumped out of bed. I thought it came from the kitchen and had visions of broken dishes all over the floor. But then I looked in the study and this is what I saw.
At the top of the pic, you can see the shelf that fell off of the wall. My creepy clown frame was broken, but I saved the picture. The black box is a speaker, which is probably okay, although I haven’t tested it out, yet. The only other things on the shelves were some notebooks that contained family genealogy stuff and some music lyric charts. The bowling ball was not on the shelf. It was already on the floor.
We’ll probably work on getting the shelf back up this weekend. I don’t anticipate taking the time before then. It’s not an urgent matter.
I got details of arrangements for my uncle’s service, last night. The visitation will be tomorrow evening, from 5:00-7:00 PM. The service will be Thursday afternoon at 1:00 PM. So, at this point, the plan is to head to Henderson (everything will be happening at Rader Funeral Home) tomorrow afternoon, probably leaving around 2:00 PM. We have a room booked at a hotel that is just down the road from the funeral home. Then we will head back to Fort Worth Thursday evening, after the service. The only work I will miss is the extra shift that I had agreed to work on Thursday afternoon.
Mama will not be making the trip. Fortunately, everyone seems to be quite understanding, and my cousins were already not expecting to see her.
I’ve been asked to lead some worship music during the service, which will likely be an old hymn or something. I think it’s up to me to choose, actually. I told my cousin that I would be honored to do so.
We also just ordered flowers to be sent to the visitation.
I don’t really have any other news to share, this morning.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
At Ease, by S. Michaels (LightWriters)
We must simply trust and wait ©2021 S. Michaels All Things Bright (Haiku 2-3-2)
Please check out her other beautiful poetry at the above link.
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
(Revelation 15:3 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for Your great and amazing deeds, O Lord God Almighty 2. that Your ways are just and true 3. that we lack no spiritual gift as we wait for the return of our Savior 4. that You will keep us firm, standing firm until the end 5. that You, who have called us into fellowship with Your Son, are faithful
. . . men ought always to pray . . .
(Luke 18:1 KJV)
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh deep sighs—he hears, he rescues.
(Psalms 55:17 MSG)
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
(James 5:16 ESV)
It is not possible to overstate the value of prayer in our lives.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
(1 John 4:20-21 ESV)
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT – DAY THREE
I wait for the LORD,
my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
(Psalms 130:5 ESV)
I pause during this quiet moment to consider the immense value of prayer and waiting. Truly it is in Him and His Word that I do hope.
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.
Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.
Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.
(Psalms 80:1-3 NIV)
Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.
(Psalms 80:17-19 NIV)
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(1 Corinthians 1:3-9 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I read these passages again, perhaps reading aloud, I look for ways that God’s Word has moved me, pondering and meditating on what has connected with my heart and soul. I pray these things to the Lord, lifting up my life to Him, and quietly enjoying His presence.
The Psalm is a simple prayer for revival, for restoration. “Restore us, O God; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved,” he says, not once, but twice, in today’s selected passage. He actually says it again in verse 7, between the two groups of verses in today’s reading.
Who is “us?” For Asaph, “us” was Israel. If I am praying this prayer today, though, “us” could very well mean the Church. I don’t apply it to a nation, I don’t pray this for the USA. Doesn’t mean I don’t pray for my country and its leaders; I certainly do (albeit not enough, I will confess). But, as I’ve stated before in this blog, I do not believe that God deals with nations, in this era, as He did with Israel. If there is a “nation” to be considered, it is the “new Israel,” which is the Church.
So when I pray prayers for revival, I have the Church, the Bride of Christ, in mind, not a country. And I do pray for restoration/revival in the Church. May God restore us and make His face to shine upon us.
As we move through this Advent season, this is our hope, that we see Jesus, and that the face of our Father shines upon us. As the Corinthians passage tells us, we truly do not lack any spiritual gift, as we “eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.”
But wait. Wasn’t He already revealed? What on earth is Paul talking about? As previously mentioned, this refers to the second coming, the return of Christ, as he comes back to restore everything to its rightful condition. This is one of the themes of Advent. We celebrate the first revelation, or coming, Jesus, but we also anticipate the second revelation, when He will return.
In the Corinthians passage, we also have this hope that He will keep us firm to the end. The reason for this is stated in verse 9 of 1 Corinthians 1.
God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(1 Corinthians 1:9 NIV).
Yes, God is faithful, and if He has called us into this fellowship with His Son, He will keep us. This truth is stated multiple times in Scripture, in several different ways. But it is stated. Growing up Baptist, I used to hear it said, “Once saved, always saved.” Perhaps that is a bit overly simplistic; but it’s true. If I am saved, I am saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, through faith that is a gift from God. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. No man can snatch me out of His hands. My salvation is secure.
In this I rejoice, my Father! Thank You for the preservation of my soul in Christ. I thank You for Your faithfulness, even when I am not faithful. I thank You for Your great love for us, love that was exemplified in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I give You praise that You have confirmed Your testimony about Jesus in various ways throughout the history of Your people. I pray, alongside Asaph, for the restoration of Your Church. Revive is, O Lord, make Your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved. All glory and praise to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.
I pray for the consistent call to follow Jesus as disciples in this world. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear. Give us love for and commitment to the communities in which You have placed us.
"Everlasting God, it's Advent once again. We've eagerly waited for change, but it appears little has happened. Expand in me the great hope that one day I will be raised from this broken earth - changed in the blink of an eye - and that everything bent and bruised, curdled and corrupted, in me and this world, will be transformed into lasting goodness, righteousness, and truth. In Jesus' name, amen."
He who testifies to these things says,
“Surely I am coming soon.”
Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.
(Revelation 22:20-21 ESV)
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
(Psalms 80:7 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.