It’s Tuesday, the nineteenth of July, 2022, in the sixteenth week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell within you!
I got all the things accomplished yesterday. It was quite productive, and turned out pretty well. I wound up only needing one new tire (for now), and I have to say, I love the company where I get my tires done. We have been going to Hamm’s for quite a while, now, and they are honest, reliable people. They could have easily sold me four new tires, yesterday, but told me that the other three tires were okay for now. They showed me the bad one, so I’m confident that that was what I needed.
I got the oil changed pretty quickly after that, as well. I was home, with Sonic drinks, shortly after noon, which isn’t bad. Turns out mid-morning on Mondays is a good time to do things.
I haven’t updated the weather, here, lately, so I’ll do that, today.
I’m still keeping my spreadsheet going, and found a website that helps me keep up better, because Reliant’s app is always at least two days behind. So the highest temperature, to date, was yesterday, when it hit 110 (that’s 43.3c for those reading anywhere but the U.S.). It is projected to be that hat again today.
We did have two days, last week, that did not reach 100, so that streak ended at ten days. The current streak is at three. We have had 23 days, now of triple-digit temperatures. The ten-day forecast calls for another 110 degree day tomorrow, followed by temps closer to 100 for the rest of the visible forecast. That gives me some hope that it might drop below 100 somewhere in there.
As for rain, there is virtually no chance in the next ten days, with one day having a 21% chance (and that depends on which weather site you look at – Wunderground only gives a 15% chance for that day).
It has still not rained since June 3.
But even bigger news is the European heat wave, right now. It hit 40c yesterday, in London, and airports are shutting down because the runways are melting. Many people there do not have A/C. At least, in Texas, we expect it to be hot.
It’s my busy week at the library, so I’ll be working tonight, tomorrow, Thursday, and Saturday.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, we rejoice that we may be called your children. In our weakness we ask you to shelter us in your hands. Strengthen us in the hope and faith that our lives will surely go the right way, not through our strength but through your protection. Grant that through your Spirit we may come to know more and more that you are with us. Help us to be alert in our daily life and to listen whenever you want to say something to us. Reveal the power and glory of your kingdom in many people, to the glory of your name, and hasten the coming on earth of all that is good and true. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9–10 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
1. that, when I am weak (and acknowledge that weakness), in Him I am strong 2. that His grace is sufficient 3. for this journey, this "adventure" of faith, trusting that life in God's Kingdom is far better than I could ever imagine 4. for the community of saints; oh, how we need each other! 5. for the mystery of resurrection and the adventure it brings us
For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!
(Amos 4:13 ESV)
Today’s word, from Pray A Word A Day, is adventure.
“Adventure is not outside man, it’s within.” ~ George Eliot
Adventure. It is defined as, “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” As a verb, it means, “engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.”
You won’t find the word anywhere in the Bible, but that’s okay, because we don’t just pray words that are in Scripture.
Admittedly, some folks are more adventurous than others. We have had adventures in Mexico, some more fun than others. We ziplined, we drove a Hummer, we held a baby crocodile, we had a snake around our shoulders, we rode four-wheelers through the jungle. We even rode a bus to Walmart.
“Adventures” can be fun. They can also be dangerous and risky. People have lost their lives attempting adventure.
I suppose the journey of faith can be described as an adventure. In this journey, every step is a step into the unknown. Someone once described faith as walking up to the edge of the light and taking one more step. But, in reality, walking in faith is never knowing what is coming next.
Now what this truly means is that every human being on the planet is walking in faith, whether they know it or not. Who or what that faith is placed in is a different story. But everyone who takes a step forward or gets in a car to drive or ride somewhere is acting in faith.
I am on a journey of faith, walking in God’s Kingdom. I trust in Him, in His reality. I trust that things in God’s Kingdom are far better than I could ever imagine, no matter what I see in the world around me. And let me tell you, the world around me doesn’t look very promising, right now.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
(Matthew 26:36-38 ESV)
When Jesus was approaching the most traumatic time He would experience while He walked on earth, He brought His best friends along. He expressed His heart to them, His trouble and sorrow.
Jesus. The Son of God. God incarnate. Needed His friends.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 ESV)
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
(John 15:15 ESV)
Jesus calls us “friends.” He does not call us “servants.” The old hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” How often do we stop to think that He also considers us “friends?”
If Jesus, God incarnate, needed His friends around at this most important juncture of His life, how much more do we need each other?
In this life of adventure, Peterson chimes in (although he doesn’t use the word). “There is a lot we don’t know. There are days, many of them, when we don’t know what is going on. Events tumble out randomly, it seems. . . . There are days when the world is bright with meaning and every bird and flower a witness to the glory; we dance and sing with the innocence of animals. But those days are then snatched by the starless nights when the dark has seeped into our souls and we cower in fear and despair, pulling the covers over our heads.”
Try to imagine what Peter and John must have felt when they stood in front of an empty tomb, not yet comprehending what had happened. “Not only was the body gone from the tomb, but the meaning was gone from their lives.”
They had such high hopes. Jesus, when He was alive, “had convinced the two men that their lives had purpose, that it was worthwhile to live, that everything fit together in a design of salvation, and that love was possible.”
And now, not only was the living Jesus gone, so was the dead Jesus. But in the midst of this mystery (adventure?), “They spotted a clue. They used their heads. they followed the clue. And it led them to resurrection.
“There are clues everywhere, still. It is up to the curious to pick them up, follow them, make the correct deductions from them, and live before the mystery of life in a believing faith.”
(From On Living Well, by Eugene H. Peterson)
Father, this life is full of adventure, but those adventures are not always fun or enjoyable. In fact, we seem to be in the midst of an adventure that I would just as soon end. But it continues, and so must we. I pray for the faith to continue to walk in Your Kingdom, and to continue to believe that things are far better than I could ever imagine, and far better than they seem.
I praise You for the resurrection, and for the “clues” that we still have around us. Help us to not get bogged down in circumstance; help us to see that “reality” is not necessarily what we can see with our eyes and hear with our ears. Rather, give us the faith to be able to see and hear what is truly reality in Your Kingdom.
I pray for unity within the Body of Christ. We need each other more than ever, and yet we are terribly divided over issues and “causes” that are not necessarily relevant to the Kingdom. Help us to remember that the only “cause” worthy of our attention is the cause of Jesus and love. I believe it’s okay to support a cause, but if that cause divides brothers and sisters in Christ, then please God, give us the sense to step back and re-think it!
I continue to pray for relief from this heat wave, which now is affecting more than just Texas. I pray for people in Europe who are experiencing unusual heat, right now. Give them relief, as well. I also pray for rain in our area. The forecast doesn’t give much hope, but You are the God of hope, and control things that the forecast can only guess about. I pray for relief, Father, and I know that I am not alone.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus! Come and set things right, and take us to the place You have prepared for us, that where You are, there we may also be.
Grace and peace, friends.