Today is Thursday, September 30, 2021.
Peace be with you!
Twelve more days until our anniversary!
Today is the last day of September! My favorite month begins tomorrow!
Today is my day off, this week. I have a few errands to run, during the day, such as a Kroger run, mostly for bananas and grapes, but I’ll probably pick up some bread and a few other things while there. C has a couple of prescriptions at the CVS right across the street, as well. And, of course, Sonic is just up the road from both of those places. Depending on the time, I will probably pick up Subway for lunch, as well.
For dinner tonight, I’m planning to cook a recipe that S picked out from a WW cookbook. It’s a mac and cheese recipe that is a bit complex, but doable. It’s 6 points per serving, so C and I will likely have some tuna with it, or make sandwiches to go along with it.
It is currently 73 degrees in our area, with a projected high of 88, and a less than 30 percent chance of light rain today.
I’m down to about 250 pages left in A Dance with Dragons, book five in A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. I really want to get it finished by the end of the weekend. It is truly quite a “slog.” What the non-readers don’t realize is that the series is not called “Game of Thrones.” That is the name of the first book, and HBO chose to call the whole series by that name. The series is and has always been called A Song of Ice and Fire. This makes perfect sense, because the main character groups revolve around winter, along with terribly harsh cold conditions, and dragons, which, of course, produce fire.
The next book that I plan to read is a large book, size-wise, but won’t take long to read, as it is basically the libretto for Hamilton, the Broadway musical. It’s always good to read something easy and light after something as long and cumbersome as a George Martin book.
Today is International Podcast Day. I don’t listen to as many podcasts as I used to, because I’m not driving as much. I do still love them, though. It’s a great means of entertainment and information. Of course, just like any other source of media, they can be great sources of misinformation, depending on which ones you listen to.
The word for today is aureate, an adjective meaning, “golden or gilded.” “The golden statue veered in the changing breeze, menacing many points on the horizon with its aureate arrow.” (Sixes and Sevens, by O. Henry)
Today’s quote is from Thomas Merton, an American author: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Significant birthdays on September 30:
Buddy Rich, American jazz drummer and band leader, thought by many to be the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), 1917-1987 Truman Capote, American author (In Cold Blood), 1924-1984 Johnny Mathis, American singer, 1935 (86), born in Gilmer, Texas Marc Bolan, British guitar player and singer (T-Rex, Bang A Gong), 1947-1977 Jack Wild, British actor (Oliver!, H.R. Pufnstuf), 1952-2006
About halfway through the writing of this blog, I realized that I have lost my wedding ring! I just happened to look at my left hand and it was gone. I had known that it was getting dangerously loose. I mean, I’ve lost over a hundred pounds in the last eighteen months. We’ve looked in the bed, I’ve checked the laundry . . . I honestly can’t remember the last time I noticed it, but I usually touch it several times a day. I may be taking a trip to a jewelry store today. It’s not really that big a deal. C has had a new one for a couple years, now. It’s just alarming to look down and realize it’s missing.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
(1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. that You created me with a love for reading 2. that You created me with a love for music 3. that I have all of my senses, with which to enjoy Your creation 4. that You exist outside of time; from everlasting to everlasting, You ARE God 5. that Jesus takes in all who are in debt, in distress, or discontented and becomes their refuge and deliverer
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK NINETEEN – DAY FIVE
Praise God with shouts of joy, all people!
Sing to the glory of his name; offer him glorious praise!
(Psalms 66:1-2 GNB)
As I pause during this quiet moment, I reflect on, and then give thanks for the fact that I am blessed to still have full use of all of my senses, with which to enjoy the creation of our Father. I also thank Him that He gave me a love of music and reading, further enhanced by the life I had with my parents.
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.
(Psalms 90:1-6 NIV)
If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
(Psalms 90:11-12 NIV)
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.
(Psalms 90:17 NIV)
David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?” So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.
But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
(1 Samuel 22:1-5 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I remind myself that I am in the presence of Almighty God, dwelling in His creation, living by His grace and kindness, and benefiting from His great goodness, I read these passages again, looking for things that catch my attention. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers.
Psalm 90 is a rare Moses psalm. It is worth noting that the subtitle heading calls Moses “the man of God.” I believe it to be a worthy aspiration to have people say that about me, years after I have left this plane. But the emphasis should be on God, not me. If I can be considered a “man of God,” it is not because I have done godly things, but because the grace of God abided in me, strengthened me, and enabled me to do His work.
Moses speaks of the infinite nature of God. He has been the place of our dwelling “throughout all generations.” And Moses also uses the present tense in his description, not unlike Jesus, who later said, “Before Abraham and Isaac, I AM” (my paraphrase). Moses wrote, “Before the mountains were born . . . from everlasting to everlasting You are God” (emphasis mine).
Before I ever existed, God is. Not “God was,” but “God is.” And this is even further illustrated in verse 4 when Moses writes, “A thousand years in Your sight are like a day that just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” God is not contained in time. I’m not sure when “time,” as we know it, was invented. I realize that in the poetic story of creation, days are mentioned as “evening and morning,” but that is the only designation of “time” that is used. There are no “hours” or “minutes.”
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! ABOUT TO GET PHILOSOPHICAL!
All of this makes me ponder a question of life after death. When we all get to heaven (what a day of rejoicing that will be . . . ), will we still experience “time?” In our current, fallen state of being, we experience time in so many different ways. I have heard it said that there is a huge difference between spending five minutes sitting on a hot stove and five minutes with your best friend. Both are only three hundred seconds, the exact amount of time. But one seems much longer than the other.
We also experience time as boredom, if we perceive that we have nothing to do. This is never true, of course. There is always something to do. Yet we get bored, and this is usually caused by the way we experience time. Usually when I am bored, I am waiting for something to happen, or waiting for a specific time to pass. It almost always involves “waiting.”
Another experience of time that involves waiting is anxiety. We get anxious about things. We might be waiting for test results; we might be waiting for news about something; we might be waiting for an event to happen. And anxiety can be over something exciting that we are waiting to happen, or the fact that we are dreading something that is imminent.
And all of these things involve an aspect of time simply known as “waiting.” Isaiah speaks of waiting in a favorite Bible verse.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV)
I do like how verse 28 prefaces this with the questions, “Do you not know? Have you not heard?” Those should have multiple question marks after them, as the sense seems to be a kind of amazement that we haven’t known or heard these things?
The Hebrew word for “wait” in this verse (again, I don’t know a bloody thing about Hebrew . . . I’m simply using the tools I have at my disposal) is actually a word for the phrase, “wait upon,” or “wait for.” In fact, the NIV uses the phrase “hope in,” and the NLT says, “trust in.” In Hebrew, it is qavah. The meanings presented are interesting. “A primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), that is, collect; (figuratively) to expect: – gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).”
But the point is that involves time. Without time, there is no such thing as “waiting.”
So back to the philosophical (perhaps it’s even theological) question concerning the “hereafter.” Will we have to “wait” in heaven? Before you jump in with a resounding, “yes, of course,” consider that time, as we know it, will likely no longer exist there. The Bible says that we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And He is timeless, existing outside of time.
The very fact that I cannot even begin to imagine the concept of “eternity” says a lot. Have you ever just sat and tried to comprehend the fact that God has always existed?? I have. It is a mind-blowing thing. As is the act of trying to conceive of myself never existing.
If you’re still reading, remember I warned you.
I have convinced myself, because of Bible passages like Psalm 90:4, that we will not experience time in eternity. Have you ever heard someone opine that heaven might be boring if all we did was sit around and sing hymns “all day?” If there is no time, there will be no waiting, and, therefore, boredom will not be possible.
Can you even imagine never being bored? If you can, I salute you, because you’re accomplished something I can’t accomplish.
My train of thought has been effectively derailed, as it was precisely at this moment that I realized that my wedding ring was missing from my left hand. I was in the middle of trying to explain my brain on the subject at hand, to C. I’m not even going to try to regain the momentum, and it’s probably for the best.
Suffice it to say that the truth of Psalm 90:4 is very important in our understanding of all things involving our heavenly Father. He exists outside of time, which is why a thousand years would be no different than a day for Him. It is also why Moses could say, “from everlasting to everlasting You are God.” And all of this helps me appreciate or better understand what we will experience in heaven.
The only thing I will say about the 1 Samuel passage also involves waiting, and, more than likely, anxiety. David is running from Saul, now. Saul knows that David is going to replace him as king, and has frequently tried to kill David. But look at verse 2 of 1 Samuel 22.
All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
(1 Samuel 22:2 NIV)
Doesn’t that sound similar to what we experience with Jesus? All of us who follow Him are, or have been, in distress, in debt, and discontented.
Father, I pray for more understanding of this concept of time and how it affects our being. I do hope that I’m getting this right, and that, when we enter eternity, to spend it with You, being able to see You as You are, that time as we know it will cease to exist. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of time. I believe it causes many and more of our issues. But while we are here, we must navigate it, so I pray that the Spirit will help us with that task.
Lord, please give us an ever increasing understanding of the Gospel. May we have the full experience of adoption as Your children.
"God of grace, I know a place like Adullam - it's my church! And I thank You for it - that I am accepted as I am, a living member of this community of grace, not because of my record but because of the gospel. Gather Your church, Jesus, protect it from those who would make it a holier-than-thou body, and preserve it in the gospel. Amen."
“Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!”
(Matthew 5:5 GNB)
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
(Psalms 121:4 NLT)
(Yet more evidence of His existence outside of time)
But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
(Psalms 31:14-15 NLT)
I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
By Your grace I breathe; Because of Your love, I love; Love abides, love rules.
Grace and peace, friends.