The Heart of God

“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?”~~John 13:23-25, KJV

Good morning. It is Sunday, March 2, 2014. It is currently 29 degrees outside, with temps projected to fall throughout the day. It appears that Winter is giving us a last gasp. There is potential for freezing rain/sleet, but I haven’t seen any yet.

29 days until Opening Day.

Today is Old Stuff Day. Good day for it, too. Cold outside, day of rest. I’ve got plenty of “old stuff” around here to think about. Heck, I’m even “old stuff!”

Yesterday was a rather nice day. Except for one thing. Christi has managed to hurt herself somehow again. She has a muscle or something that pinching a nerve in her hip. I’m going to be taking her to Care Now as soon as they call. So this may be interrupted in a bit. The rest of the day was nice. We got the groceries done, but before that, we went to Fogata’s for lunch. Christi and I both ordered this delicious dish they make, called “Pollo Cozumel.” It has grilled chicken strips in a creamy chipotle sauce, along with the usual sides. What was different this time was that we got full before we were finished, and instead of barreling on ahead and stuffing ourselves, we both stopped and got “to go” boxes, took it home, and had it for dinner after church!. I think that may be the first time we’ve done something like that in a long time. And that one small step prevented me from short-circuiting my “diet” for the week. I’ve lost nine pounds since last Monday! NINE! And all from cutting back on sodium and simply eating better. I only exercised one evening during that whole time, too. Also, before the grocery store, we went to the library, where I finally found a copy of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. It’s a “large print” edition, but I’m not too proud to read that. Heck, I can even read it without my glasses. I’ve been wanting to read that ever since I read her first novel, Sharp Objects.

We had a good church service last night, during which we took Communion. Our pastor likes to call it “the Supper.” I like that, too. He is very big on emphasizing the “community” aspect of The Supper, so we were all encouraged to “discern the body,” which means simply taking stock of who is there and if you have any ongoing issues with anyone that need to be put right. I took care of that the previous week. At one point, as we were getting ready, I looked at the table. Sitting on the table were a bunch of little cups, some with grape juice, some with wine. In the middle of the table was a loaf of bread. We couldn’t tell from the seats, but the bread had already been cut into little pieces. But seeing the loaf there, like that, for some reason, really stirred me. Jacob had just preached a great message on a very difficult passage in the book of John, where Jesus talks to his disciples about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. When I saw the loaf, representing the body of Christ, sitting on that table, tears welled up in my eyes. It may have been the most meaningful Supper I’ve ever taken part in.


On this date in 2005, President George W. Bush honored the Boston Red Sox at a White House ceremony, congratulating them on their first World Series win since 1918. During the ceremony, there was good-natured teasing, with the President saying such things as, “What took you so long?” “You know, the last time the Red Sox were here [at the White House], Woodrow Wilson was president,” and “Now we just have to wait for the other six signs of the apocalypse.”

There are 220 birthdays listed on History Orb today. Among those listed are Sam Houston, first President of Texas, 1793, Kurt J. Weill, composer, 1900, Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, 1904, Mel Ott, baseball player, 1909, Desi Arnaz, actor/musician, 1917, Philip K. Dick, author, 1928, Mikhail Gorbachev, Communist Party General Secretary, 1931, Tom Wolfe, author, 1931, John Irving, author, 1942, Lou Reed, singer/guitarist, 1942, Peter Straub, author, 1943, Larry Carlton, guitarist, 1948, Rory Gallagher, guitarist, 1948, Gates McFadden, actress (Beverly Crusher), 1949, Karen Carpenter, singer/drummer, 1950, Dale Bozzio, singer (Missing Persons), 1955, John Cowsill, drummer, 1956, Jon Bon Jovi, singer, 1962, Daniel Craig, actor, 1968, Chris Martin, musician (Coldplay), 1977, and Bryce Dallas Howard, actress (daughter of Ron), 1981.

Wow. That’s a lot of birthdays! And there is a mistake. It seems that this date is the date that Philip K. Dick died, not the date he was born. He was born in 1928, but on December 16. He died on March 2, 1982.

Chris Martin is the lead singer and piano player for the rock group, Coldplay Here is their song, “Fix You.”

Here’s an update on Christi. She is still in pain, but the doctor at Care Now said she has muscles knotting up in her hip, causing pain to radiate down her leg. She prescribed Prednizone, Hydrocodon, and a muscle relaxer, Lorzone. The Prednizone was $2.42. The Hydrocodon was $5.08. the Lorzone was $133.05! No generic for that one. Yes, Christi still has insurance. . . but there’s this deductible thing, you know. . .


(From The Divine Hours)

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!

Psalm 107:2-3, 7-8
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!

Psalm 40:16-17
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield,
and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:1-2
. . . looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Hebrews 12:2-4

“O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory
upon the holy mountain: Grant that I, beholding by faith the light of his
countenance, may be strengthened to bear my cross, and be changed into his
likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Heart of God.”

In the Gospel of John, chapter, 13, we read this: One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side . . . So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus . . . (vv. 23, 25). The KJV says that John was “leaning on Jesus’ bosom,” and that he was “lying on Jesus’ breast.” Brennan says, “We must not hurry past this scene in search of deeper revelation or we will miss a magnificent insight.” John was leaning his head on the heart of God, “on the breast of the man whom the Council of Nicea defined as ‘being co-equal and consubstantial to the Father . . . God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God.'” This brief picture should not be forgotten. “It can become a person encounter, radically affecting our understanding of who God is and what our relationship with Jesus is meant to be. God allows a young Jew, reclining in the rags of his twenty-odd years, to listen to his heartbeat!”

The beauty of this is beyond my power of comprehension.

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5

Father, I thank you for this beautiful picture. And I must confess that, in all of my almost 56 years, this has never been pointed out to me in this way. Would that I could lay on my Savior’s breast the way John did that night! Would that I could listen to your heartbeat the way he did! I pray that you help us all, by your Spirit to key in on more simple events such as this one. We tear apart scripture so much, looking for those finer points of theology, that we skip right over something as simple and beautiful as this moment where John simply leaned his head against the breast of Jesus. So, Lord, going forward, help me to read your word with more understanding, yes, but also with more vision! Give me eyes to see what is truly there, both on the surface and below the surface. I pray for wisdom and understanding any time I read scripture. May I never just read over a passage quickly because I’ve read it so many times before. Help me to always approach it as if it is the first time I’ve ever seen it. And may, I like your disciple John, listen to your heartbeat more often!

I pray for the rest of this day. May your will be done. I ask for healing for Christi, that you would relieve the pain she is experiencing. Please hear the prayers of your children as they lift her up. I also pray that the winter weather would back off and that I would not have trouble driving to work tomorrow. I pray for Christi’s phone interview tomorrow afternoon, and I also pray that she might hear something from BNSF tomorrow. If I am able to get to work, I pray for my interview that is scheduled for 10am tomorrow, that I might find favor with this manager, and be able to smoothly transition to another facility after our contract is over.

Now, for the remainder of this day, I ask for good rest for us, especially for Christi. Your grace is sufficient, and may your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

See if you can hear the heartbeat of God today.

Grace and peace, friends.