Today is Friday, the twenty-third of July, 2021.
27 days until S’s birthday
The quest to become a bus driver continues. After multiple communications with my doctor’s office, yesterday, it was determined that they will not order a new CPAP for me without a new sleep study. That has been ordered, and the people doing that should contact me within the next day or so. From what I can tell, they will send a machine to my house, and I will do whatever I need to do with that for two nights and send it back. Results will be shared after they get the machine back, after which it will be determined that I either need a new machine or don’t need one at all. Ideally, I would hope for the latter option.
If I get a new machine, I will have to use it for ten days in order to get enough data for the DOT physical. So, realistically, we are looking at at least two to three more weeks before I can even start training for the bus driving.
After some discussion, last night, we are at peace with this. I will stick with my ending date with my current employer, and will simply be a “house-husband” during the interim. If SS kicks in in August, even better.
I don’t have any updates on R and J’s situation, after their horrible Tuesday. Apparently, it has not been 100% confirmed that the car is totaled.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord, I dedicate this day to You. May my feet walk only where You want them to walk. May my eyes see only what You want them to see. May my ears hear only what You want them to hear. May my mouth say only what You want it to say. May my mind think only what You want it to think.
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
(Psalms 37:7 NLT)
Today I am grateful:
1. for the peace in my soul today; 2. for good news from friends 3. for the frequent command/encouragement from Your Word, "fear not, for I am with you;" 4. that because You are my Shepherd, I have all that I need; 5. that You guide my feet along the right path, for Your name's sake; 6. that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK NINE – DAY SIX
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
(Psalms 24:1 NIV)
I pause in stillness before the Lord, this morning, enjoying His peaceful presence. While I was waxing impatient, Wednesday, today I find that I am more patiently waiting for Him to act. “Fear not,” He says, over and over and over in His Word.
A psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
(Psalms 23:1-6 NIV)
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.
Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: . . . I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
(Genesis 8:1-2, 15-17; 9:8, 11-13 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I continue to rest in Your presence, this morning, I find such peacefulness in Your Word. Holy Spirit, please guide me through the remainder of this time, allowing me to dwell in Your Word and find sustenance within.
Psalm 23. The most famous of all of the Psalms. I dare say that there are even atheists who are well familiar with its first line, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (KJV). I love looking at this verse in multiple translations. This devotional book features the NIV translation.
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. (NLT)
GOD, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. (MSG)
The ESV, it turns out, is exactly the same as the KJV. But all convey the same message. Because God, my Father, is my Shepherd, I have all that I need; I shall not want or lack; I don’t need a thing.
Dallas Willard taught six lessons that sprang from that verse, and were eventually turned into a book called Life Without Lack.
I was suddenly struck with the thought that I am focusing on Psalm 23 on the twenty-third of July, in the midst of one of the biggest of life’s events. Coincidence?
I don’t really believe in coincidences.
Anyway, moving on. The rest of the psalm is well-worthy of the attention that it gets. In fact, it is worthy of more than what it truly gets, in my opinion. A lot of people memorize it, and can quote it. Ironically, I didn’t actually memorize it until either last year or 2019.
But I have quoted it to myself, repeatedly, since then, sometimes more than once in a day’s time. I have meditated on it, taking each phrase and mulling it over. The actual words are important. Words are more important than we think, sometimes.
Take verse 3, for example. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. (NIV) Note the emphasis I placed on the word “HIS.”
Everything God does is for His own glory. If a human being acted that way, we would call him arrogant or selfish. But here’s the thing. God is the only being that can get away with that, because He is perfect, and He created everything; it all belongs to Him. So when He guides my feet along the path, He is doing it for His own name’s sake. I benefit from that, of course, and it may seem like He is doing good things for me. And He is! But there is a deeper motivation there.
And nestled in the middle of the psalm is a reference to that very command that I referenced earlier. “I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (verse 4 NIV).
Father, I worship You, this morning. I praise You for the inspiration You gave David to write this psalm. I thank You that You have led me down a path that leads to acknowledging that, with You as my Shepherd, I have all that I need. I can truly live a “life without lack.” It doesn’t mean I get everything that I want. Or maybe it does, because You have changed my “want,” so that I want whatever I have. I am content, wherever You choose to lead me. Thank You.
I pray and give thanks, this morning, for Your covenant promises. May You remind us of them, constantly, that we may celebrate them and walk in them. I pray for all who are living in poverty and are suffering injustice. Be their mighty provider and their strong hand of justice and mercy. I also pray for all who have suffered and are suffering any kind of abuse, especially domestic, and I pray for those who support them.
"Faithful God, I am here today, praying to you now, because you've kept your word. Today is a gift because of your almighty and ever-present power that holds all things together. Thank you that I don't have to live anxiously but can live confidently, trusting in your providing hands to keep me in your love. Amen."
“I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.'”
(Isaiah 51:16 NIV)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 ESV)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
(John 10:27-29 ESV)
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
(Romans 6:4-8 ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20 ESV)
I believe I’m ready to go to work, now. I have all that I need.
May the LORD bless you and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 NLT)
Grace and peace, friends.