Good morning. It is Sunday, June 14, 2015. We’re almost halfway through June, which means we’re almost halfway through 2015. No extra charge for doing that math for you.
Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is friendful. Such a nice word. Friendful is an adjective, meaning, “Friendly, well-disposed, loving.” Let us all try to be more friendful today.
Today is Bourbon Day. There are many people who need no excuse to sip on a fine whisky drink, but today is a day to celebrate that fine whisky. The origin of the day is not known for sure, but it is rumored that this is the anniversary of the first day that bourbon was distilled, sometime in the late 1700s.
Yesterday was an interesting day. After I finished my blogging, we got ready to head up to church for set up and what-not. We stopped at Subway, on the way, for lunch, and then started getting things ready for our afternoon gatherings. For the sake of discretion, I will not go into detail, but something got me aggravated. A rash decision was almost made, but Christi “talked me off of the ledge.” The prayer gathering, I felt, really went well, and it seems that some of the prayers even lined up with what the evening message would turn out to be. I don’t think that was on purpose, either (except for the fact that God designed it). The worship gathering went very well, too, I believe.
We had our PAT meeting, at the usual place, Rosa’s Tortilla Factory. I had their chicken fajita nachos, which turned out to be pretty good. I believe our discussions went well, and during the time we were talking about personal “challenges and breakthroughs,” I expressed my desire to get back into playing music. I believe that the season of not being involved in music is over. I believe I have validation of this truth from multiple sources. One of the strongest validations was the band reunion last weekend. It reminded me how much I loved playing the trombone. So, I am determined to keep it up, somehow. But there’s more than just trombone. I also play guitar and keyboards, so there is much to do in order to return to a proficiency that I once had on those instruments.
The rest of the meeting went well, too. Afterward, though, the group of us had a “random” encounter with a man who claimed to have lost everything he had when a roommate stole his car and all of his valuables. His story was sketchy, to say the least, but we circled around him and prayed over him, gave him a little cash and sent him on his way. But not before one of our group gave the man his phone number and told him, “Call me after you get settled into a new place.” Who knows if we will ever hear from him again. I’m always skeptical when I hear stories like this, but we still were generous with him. God’s Word tells us to give to whoever asks of us, not to judge whether their stories are legit. Only this man is accountable to God for what he does with the money we gave him. We will continue to pray for him.
Today, we will do grocery shopping for us and for Christi’s mom and stepdad, then probably just rest for the remainder of the afternoon, in preparation for the work week ahead.
It was on this date in 1954 that President Eisenhower signed a bill into law that put the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. In 1942, a young girl named Anne Frank began keeping a diary, on this date. And on this date, in 1938, Action Comics, issue #1 was released.
Today’s birthdays include Harriet Beecher Stowe (American abolitionist and novelist), Nikolaus Otto (German engineer), Burl Ives (American musician), Rudolf Kempe (German conductor), Dorothy McGuire (American actress), Gene Barry (American actor), Marla Gibbs (American actress), Junior Walker (American musician), John F. MacArthur (American preacher/author), Rod Argent (English musician), Donald Trump (“You’re FIRED!”), Alan White (British drummer) (Why is Rod Argent “English” and Alan White “British??”) Harry Turtledove (American writer), Will Patton (American actor), Boy George (British singer), and Steffi Graf (German tennis player).
Rod Argent was born on this date in 1945, making him 70 years old today. He was a founding member of the sixties group the Zombies, and went on to have moderate success with a self-named group, Argent. One of Argent’s most famous songs is “Hold Your Head Up,” but they are also famous for giving us this song (which was actually written by singer, Russ Ballard):
Rod has also played with Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band.
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me; those who watch for my life consult together
and say, “God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him.”
O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!
May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt.
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.
(From Daily Guideposts 2015)
For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
Today’s reading, by Melody Bonnette Swang, speaks of difficulty in having faith to follow where we believe God is leading us. A friend confided that business was slow, and she was considering returning to school to finish a degree. However, she was really struggling in moving forward with this, in spite of believing that it was God’s plan for her.
As the two friends sat in silence, after agreeing to pray about it, the observed a young girl and her daddy, on the playground. The father was coaxing the girl down the slide. She sat at the top, “clutching tightly to the rail, and he at the bottom, his arms outstretched to catch her.” You know where this is going.
“‘Honey,” he said, ‘I’m right here.’
‘I’m scared,’ she replied.
‘But honey,’ he said gently, ‘have I ever let you fall?’
She shook her head.
‘Then give it a try, okay?’ he asked.”
And down she went. “Daddy, that was fun! Let’s do it again!!”
It was a perfect lesson in faith for the friend. The verse, above, from Isaiah 41, depicts a God who is always there to catch us. Not only does he catch, He truly never lets go of us, in the first place. Our God holds our hand; he guides where we need to go. He is the one who is there to help us.
Psalm 56:3, a verse I will always remember from a Steve Green “Kids Sing Praise” song, says, When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. To the woman who bathed his feet in her tears, Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)
God is there for us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will hold our hand. Forever.
Father, why do we struggle so hard to trust you? Your Word is full of promises, telling us things like what is stated above. You hold our hands; you help us; you provide for us; you never let us go; you catch us when we do fall . . . the promises are almost endless. Yet, when it comes down to it, I tend to lean away from believing. Why is it so difficult for me to believe? Like the man who encountered Jesus in the New Testament, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” Give me faith, Father. You have shown me enough times. I don’t need any more examples. I simply need to believe. So I pray for the faith to believe, to trust in you, implicitly, without question, trusting that you will not allow me to fall. Let me, with childlike faith, propel myself down that “slide” into your waiting arms.
I pray for this day, that we will get our errands done in good time, with minimal stress or trouble, and that we can get some good rest, this afternoon, at home. Keep me faithful in prayer, throughout this week, but also give me some ideas on how I can work music back into my life. I pray that you also give good rest to Rachel and Justin, in preparation for whatever they need to do this week, and that you continue to hold up my mother. I pray that she had a good morning of worship and fellowship with her sisters in Christ.
Your grace is sufficient.
May we have the faith in God that is in line with the things we say we believe about him. May we follow him where he leads us.
Grace and peace friends.