Dependent Upon His Spirit

Today is Sunday, August 7, 2016. 12 more days until S turns 23!

Quote of the Day

“One reads books in order to gain the privilege of living more than one life….” ― Garrison Keillor

Word of the Day

Enervate – 1. To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality. 2. Lacking physical, mental, or moral vigor. “Prolonged exposure to the sun and dehydration enervated the desert racing team.”

Today is Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day. That’s a mouthful, huh? This is a day to encourage you to speak up when manufacturers’ packaging causes you stress and anxiety. Those plastic packages, for example, that things like electronic device headphones come in. You know the ones. They’re next to impossible to open. You eventually have to take a pair of scissors to them, which can’t possibly be good for the scissors!

I’m a little blurry this morning, as I was up late with some stomach issues. I think I’m okay, this morning, but I’m not having my cup of coffee, and really don’t feel hungry yet. I’m going to church, in spite of the fact that I would much rather stay home and sleep.

I’m also really behind, so I need to move on to the devotional portion.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
Psalm 104:27-30

“The pulsing creation in all its interrelated parts is as dependent upon the Creator Spirit as the human body is upon its respiratory system. The Spirit of God ‘moving over the face of the waters’ in creation (Genesis 1:2) also supports and renews daily life.”

“Send your Spirit, Father. My inner life disintegrates without daily infusions of your Spirit. My energy for love dissipates without fresh visitations of your love. My faith atrophies without exercise in your grace. I receive, gratefully, what you give in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Father, how true those statements are in my own life! If I am not consciously with you throughout my day, my “inner life disintegrates, my energy for love dissipates, my faith atrophies!” I find myself acting and reacting in most un-Christlike ways! Infuse my life with your Holy Spirit every day, healing me both physically and spiritually. Make me be aware of your presence in and around me 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.

Is Jesus Proud of Me?

“Therefore, there is the possibility of every feeling and emotion that can exist between friends to exist here and now between Jesus and you.”~~A fellow Franciscan, to Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Thursday pre-Friday, August 7, 2014. Only 12 days, now, until Stephanie turns 21.

(The above track is part of a collection called “Suite Thursday.”

Today is Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day. I get a lot of that, at my job. One day, I opened a box that was about two-feet square, and about a foot deep, and all it had in it was four very small parts. There was not even any additional packaging in it.

Christi had more drama with her mother yesterday morning. Her mother called her, actually, before we even got up. It seems she had “fallen,” and had Don call an ambulance to take her to the hospital. The truth is, she only had one more hydrocodone pill left, and she wanted some more. But she went to the same hospital she always goes to, in downtown, where they know her, so they wouldn’t give her any more. Christi wound up having to go pick her up. I’m pretty sure Christi told her that if she keeps doing that, she will be put in a nursing home where she can have 24 hour surveillance. We’ve gone through this behavior before, and thought we had her weaned off of that stuff.

One of our key people is on vacation the rest of the week, so I might have to work late today and tomorrow. But, as my mother used to tell me, “don’t borrow trouble.” Or something like that. So I won’t worry about it, and whatever will be, will be, right?


(From The Divine Hours)

But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
Psalm 68:3
Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand;
Psalm 10:12
Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.
Psalm 21:13
Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!
Psalm 98:1
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.
Psalm 24:7-10

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Between Friends.”

Brennan relates a challenge that a fellow Franciscan once gave him.

“Do you ever reflect upon the fact that Jesus feels proud of you? Proud that you accepted the faith that he offered you? Proud that you chose him for a friend and Lord? Is he proud of you that you haven’t given up? Proud that you believe in him enough to try again and again? Proud that you trust that he can help you? Do you ever think that Jesus appreciates you for wanting him, for wanting to say no to so many things that would separate you from him? Do you think that Jesus can ever be grateful to you for pausing to smile, comfort, give to one of his children who have such great need to see a smile, to feel a touch? Do you ever think of Jesus being grateful to you for learning more about him so that you can speak to others more deeply and truly about him? Do you ever think that Jesus can be angry or disappointed in you for not believing that he has forgiven you totally? He said, ‘I do not call you servants, but friends. . . ‘ Therefore, there is the possibility of every feeling and emotion that can exist between friends to exist here and now between Jesus and you.”

This is very deep stuff, here, and worthy of much meditation.

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.

Isaiah 30:185

Father, forgive me. I confess that I have failed to conceive of Jesus as my “friend,” in this way. Oh, sure, I sing “What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” and all those other hymns that talk about Jesus being my friend. I have read the verses over and over again. but have I really ever stopped to consider the things that this Franciscan monk asked Brennan? I dare say not. I am stunned as I sit here reflecting on the above questions, considering that, yes, Jesus is truly my friend, and that he feels the same kind of emotions that I might feel between earthly friends. I have never, ever considered that either you or Jesus might actually be PROUD of me! I have never dared to think that. But could it be true? Is it possible that, when I do the right thing, that you might be proud of me? Just as you are probably disappointed in me when I do the wrong thing? I tend to lean more toward the disappointment side than the proud side. Perhaps that is just human nature. I pray for the Spirit to remind me today that I am a friend of Jesus, and that, yes, it is entirely possible that he might be proud of his “little brother.”

I pray for this day, that we would have safe passage to work and home today. I pray for Christi this morning, as she has something going on at 9am that you know about. I pray for your will in this matter. May your will be done, on earth as in heaven. I also pray for Stephanie today, that you would draw her closer to you and reveal your steadfast love to her.

Your grace is sufficient.


Can it be? Is it possible? Is Jesus actually proud of me?

Grace and peace, friends.