Good morning. It is Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Our last full day in Galveston, as we will be returning tomorrow.
Today is Ball Point Pen Day. On this date in 1943, Laszlo and Gyorgy Biro became owners of the U.S. patent for this device, which is still almost universally used today.
Yesterday was a very nice day. After I finished my blog, Christi and I went back to the Sunflower Cafe for breakfast. Stephanie did not want to go on the ferry, so she stayed back at the house and had sausage biscuits for breakfast. After a yummy breakfast, we backtracked to Sonic for drinks, and then headed over to the ferry. We had visited the landing the day before, so we weren’t sure if we would drive on or park and walk, as the line on Sunday was quite long. However, on a Monday morning, there is hardly any line to get on the ferry, so we drove on. I’m glad we did, because we spent a lot of time driving around the Bolivar Peninsula, even making our way to the infamous Crystal Beach. While on the ferry, Christi fed the seagulls.
When we arrived, we just started driving, not really knowing where we would wind up. I saw this tree that I had to get out and photograph.
After a brief restroom stop at a convenience store, we found Crystal Beach. I have to say, I was not that impressed. It wasn’t any nicer than the beach in front of the house we are staying in. And Crystal is plagued by the same seaweed infestation as the rest of Galveston. But at least they had a tractor trying to get it off of the edge of the water.
From there, we headed on back for the return trip on the ferry, during which we saw some dolphins playing in the water along the way. Christi got a shot of those with her phone, but my camera battery had died, so I didn’t get any.
We drove on back out to the house, where Christi and I changed into swimsuits and went out to brave the stinky seaweed (have you ever smelled rotting seaweed?) and sandy sinkholes to play in the water with our floaty things. We spent about an hour or so (I actually have no idea how long it was) out there, and then came back in, showered, and went to the Blue Water Grill for cheeseburgers and pizza. If you ever come down to Galveston, you should really try it. The bacon cheeseburger was quite good, as was the pizza, and the place itself is quite interesting. They also make their own ranch dressing which is pretty amazing.
It was a tough night for me, though. A storm blew in late during the night, and as the wind increased, I could hear it whistling around a window. I was able to sleep through it for a while, but it got worse. Around 2-3am, I got up and figured out where it was coming from. There was a side window that had not been latched shut, and was not quite tightened down. I was able to fix that, but then was unable to go back to sleep. I came downstairs and got on the laptop for a while, and listened to the wind blow. When it started blowing chairs around on the deck, I went out and stacked them up, so they would at least stay together. This morning, all the chairs were up against the picnic table on the east end of the deck. On the upper deck, outside our bedroom, the four chairs were flush against the east railing. I wound up going back to sleep around 5:30, but still didn’t sleep soundly. I’m okay, though. Just a little tired.
Today, the only plan we have is to go to a place we went last year for lunch, called “Mario’s.” They had a lunch buffet last year, and I think I saw it still on their sign as we drove by. I seem to remember it being pretty good. I expect we will relax the rest of the day, and I might even take a nap on the deck.
On this date in 1752, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm. While not normally a recommended leisure activity, in this case, it is we are, I believe, quite thankful that he did.
It’s the birthday of Neville Henderson, Howlin’ Wolf, Saul Bellow, Judy Garland, Lionel Jeffries (didn’t we just have his birthday a few days ago?), Gina Gershon, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Elizabeth Hurley, Tara Lipinski, and Leelee Sobieski. It is also the birthday of Ron Glass, and actor who has appeared in many things, including Barney Miller, the TV sitcom. We know him best, however as “Shepherd Book,” in the ill-fated, Fox-murdered, most excellent TV series and movie, Firefly and Serenity. It is difficult to find lengthy clips of Joss Whedon shows on You Tube, however, I was able to find this very short clip of one of Shepherd’s better lines.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.
(From The Divine Hours)
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules.
You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.
Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.
Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.
For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Taking Inventory.”
“To discern where you really are with the Lord, recall what has saddened you recently.” Here are some possibilities:
“Was it the realization that you don’t love Jesus enough?
That you do not seek his face in prayer often enough?
That you can’t honestly say that the greatest thing that ever happened in your life is that Jesus came to you and you heard his voice?
That you do not regard finding Jesus as your supreme happiness?
That you have denied his last commandment by not loving his people enough?”
Here are some other possibilities:
“Lack of human respect,
criticism from an authority figure,
lack of friends,
your bulging waistline?”
Now turn around and consider what has gladdened you recently.
“Reflection on your election to the Christian community?
The joy of praying, ‘Abba, I belong to you?’
The afternoon you stole away with the gospel as your only companion?
The thrilling awareness that God loves you unconditionally just as you are and not as you should be?
A small victory over selfishness?”
Or was it, rather:
“A new car,
a Brooks Brothers suit,
a movie and a pizza, a trip to Paris or Peoria?”
The final question. . . “Are you worshiping idols?”
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings,
with loud shouts.
Father, it’s confession time again, while also wondering why I keep reading this devotion. The reason is exactly because of readings like today. I need these readings to keep me honest. While the readings about how much you love me keep me positive and joyful, I have to be brought down to earth frequently to check myself. I confess that the things that sadden me are not the proper things. I am saddened, no, even angered because someone cut me off in traffic, almost hitting me. I am saddened because someone didn’t respect me properly. I am not saddened enough that there are still people who do not know the joy of living for you. I am also, however, saddened to think that I don’t know you/love you enough, and that I don’t pray enough or intensely enough.
What gladdens me? I’m doing better on those. I am so very gladdened that you love me unconditionally, and that there is nothing whatsoever that I can do to change that! I am gladdened to be able to pray, “Abba, I belong to you!” I am gladdened to know that I am elected to the Christian community, that I am, as Father Freyer said, “part of a redeemed community!” I am also gladdened by a trip to the seashore at Galveston. And I don’t believe that is idolatry, because I don’t “worship” the ocean or the seashore. I employ it as a vehicle to get closer to you, acknowledging you as the Creator of all that I see before me. I was also gladdened by that cheeseburger last night. I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing, either, as long as I am gladdened by the proper things. I believe that we should thoroughly enjoy all that you have given us to enjoy.
Father, I pray for my spirit to be directed at the right things, especially when it comes to how I am treated by others. This does not matter. I know this, too. I have recognized it for a long time. However, the flesh still has far to go, and I pray for your help by the power of the Holy Spirit.
May this last day of rest and relaxation by the seashore be just that, along with some time to reflect on all that you have provided for us. May I spend some time privately worshiping you this afternoon, as I sit on the deck observing and listening to the waves of the ocean. You are the grand Creator, the eternal God and Father and Lord, and I will praise you and serve you for as long as I shall live on this earth, and then for all eternity after that! Praises be to you, O God!
Your grace is sufficient!
Take some time . . . do your own inventory of what saddens and gladdens you. Where do you stand with God?
Grace and peace, friends.