Today is Friday, April 13, 2018. Friggatriskaidekaphobics, beware! Day 21,946.
Three days until Jury Duty.
It’s the birthday of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). He said, “Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.” (BrainyQuote)
The word for today is tub-thump, a verb which means, “to promote something or express opinions vociferously.”
C and I went to the Y last night and had our first “Life Changing Challenge” session with a personal trainer. Everyone who joins the Y has the option of getting three free sessions in this LCC, so we decided to take advantage of it. Last night, the trainer showed us how to use all of the weight machines. We have our next session next Thursday at 7:00 PM. S had her first session scheduled for Saturday morning, but she has had a sore throat and fever for a couple of days, so we’re going to reschedule that. She may even wind up at the doctor later today.
The Red Sox took the series from the Yankees, beating them 6-3, last night. Rick Porcello had a no-hitter through six innings. Then I started watching. First Yankee batter I saw got a hit. Go figure. They held on, though, and won, in spite of the bullpen giving up three runs in the top of the ninth. The Sox are now 10-2 on the season, 2.5 games up on the Blue Jays in the AL East. While they have the best record in the AL, the Mets have managed to go 10-1 in the NL. The Sox begin a weekend series with the Orioles tonight.
The Rangers had an off day, and begin a series in Houston tonight.
I keep putting that countdown up there, but failed to mention that, yes, I have been summoned for jury duty. I must appear at 8:00 AM on Monday. Good times. I’ll make sure I take a book.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah.
Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains full of prey.
The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned.
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.
Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,
who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.
2 Timothy 2:24
This is the kind of verse that hits me in the gut every time I read it (and others like it). The King James Versions renders it this way: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. I like both translations. To me, “gentle” carries a little more weight than “kind.”
I believe that we can have a lot more impact on our little “kingdoms” (Dallas Willard defines “kingdom” as one’s immediate sphere of influence, so, yes, all of us have a “kingdom”) if we are “gentle unto all.”
Yet we may get overwhelmed, because we cannot minister to or reach everyone. That is simply physically impossible. But we can minister to or reach whoever we can, wherever we can, and gentleness will go a long way towards that.
Charles Swindoll tells a story of a many who spent a stormy night in a house on the beach. At sunrise, he got up and took a walk to survey the damage. He found dozens of starfish that had been swept up onto the beach. These starfish would dry up and die as the sun rose. Then he spied a little boy, walking down the beach, picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea. When he commented that he would never be able to save them all, the boy responded, “Well, I sure made a difference to that one!”
Preacher story? Probably so. But true, nevertheless. We cannot have an impact on the whole world. We can’t even have an impact on our whole city. But we can make a difference in the lives of those people with whom we come in contact. And gentleness will go a long way towards that. Be gentle to all people.
Father, I need to learn more gentleness from Jesus. I have a tendency to not be gentle, and I know that it hurts relationships. I confess that fault in me. Teach me the ways of Christ in relating to people. Make me gentle to all people. May your Spirit rule my life.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Grace and peace, friends.