Today is Monday, October 16, 2017. Day 21,767. Twenty days until Daylight Saving Time ends.
Oscar Wilde, who was born on this date in 1854 (died 1900), said, “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
Today’s word of the day, from dictionary.com, is jawbreaker, which means, “a word that is hard to pronounce.”
We are back to “reality” today, after having avoided it for several days. We had a wonderful time celebrating our thirty-second wedding anniversary. We were back in our favorite of the Paluxy River Bed Cabins, the Cedar House. Although it has stairs to get up to the second floor bedroom, it is still our favorite cabin. That is largely because the number of trees around it, between the cabin and the river, give a little more of a secluded feel. The single story Cliff House has a great view of the river, but is too exposed and doesn’t give as much of a solitude vibe.
The best morning was Sunday morning, sadly. Sadly because that was the day we had to leave. But it was the only morning where we couldn’t even hear traffic noise from the nearby Highwya 67. Nobody gets out much on early Sundays, and there were some times of absolute silence, except for birds.
On Friday, we visited Fossil Rim, the wildlife park. It has been years since we were there, and we had a wonderful time feeding and observing various kinds of animals. Sadly, the giraffes would not approach our car. They were too busy eating leaves off of trees. Perhaps they were tired of bending down to get their food. Or maybe they don’t like red. Who knows? We do have a few pictures, and maybe I’ll get them up here, eventually.
That reminds me, I still need to upload pictures of my cousin’s wedding from the previous weekend.
The Astros are leading the Yankees 2-0 in their series, as are the Dodgers leading the Cubs. The ALCS resumes today at 7:00 CDT, in New York.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
(From The Divine Hours)
The Call to Prayer
Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
The Request for Presence
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us,
just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us,
it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
The Morning Psalm
Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful.
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!
Psalm 111:1-4, 7-9
The Small Verse
Open, Lord, my eyes that I may see.
Open, Lord, my ears that I may hear.
Open, Lord, my heart and my mind that I may understand.
So shall I turn to you and be healed.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Lord, I pray that your grace may always precede and follow me, that I may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Concluding Prayer of the Church
Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.† Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
(From Practice Resurrection)
It’s been a while, but I last talked about Peterson’s idea of “acquired passivity.” He takes a moment to address the idea of works. “Why is there such unending and often acrimonious argument and contention about faith and works?” Paul’s writings should definitely put an end to that debate, or, as Peterson calls it, “tedious gossip.”
“Faith in Christ is an act of abandoning the shores of self, where we think we know where we stand and where if we just try hard enough we can be in control.” Dallas Willard defines grace as God accomplishing in us what we cannot accomplish on our own.
But we are hesitant to get up that solid footing of the self. We have formed years of habits on this “ground.” It is difficult for us to give up the idea that we can just try harder and live “anxiously by my wits and muscle,” rather than “living effortlessly in the world of God’s active presence.” In fact, our entire North American culture consists of, “to all intents and purposes, a context of persistent denial of grace.”
Father, teach us to embrace grace. But let us not think that grace alone is all we need. Yes, of course, we believe in salvation by grace alone. But it doesn’t stop there. Our faith in you, by the grace you provided, leads us to works, which are the proof of our lives in you. When we live in the Kingdom way, walking in the steps, works, and words of Jesus, those works become evidence of our faith and your grace. Let us not live in such a way that we deny your grace.
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.