Today is Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Day 21,958.

Three more days until our next Night of Worship!

Gina Torres (Firefly/Serenity) turns 49 today. She said, “My view of myself doesn’t change. I know who I am. I’m Cuban American; both my parents are Cuban – one was a little browner than the other one. That’s who I am. I feel sorry that it’s taken so long for the film industry to figure it out and to catch up.” BrainyQuote

The word for today is velitation, a noun which means, “a minor dispute or contest.”

The Red Sox lost their third consecutive game, last night, dropping it in the bottom of the tenth inning on a Curtis Granderson home run. They lost 4-3 to Toronto. Their record is now 17-5, and they are three games up on Toronto in the AL East. The also hold on to the best record in MLB, one game up on the D-backs, who won last night. The Sox play the Blue Jays again tonight.

The Rangers lost to the Athletics, 3-2, so they are now 8-17, 8.5 games behind the Angels in the AL West. They play the A’s again tonight.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, 
the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself. 
They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your face! 
  But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself! 
Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name! 
  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:14-19

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Psalm 51:6

In today’s Daily Guideposts reading, Rhoda Blecker writes of a morning session at her computer. It was springtime, and she had the windows open, enjoying all of the activity of nature around her back yard.

When she heard the beautiful sounds of a song-bird, she began looking for the bird, thinking it must be sitting right outside her window. When she couldn’t find it, she grabbed her binoculars and began looking around. Finding nothing on the neighbors’ roofs, she finally looked more closely at some blackberry vines on her fence. “In the shadow of a curving stem was the tiniest brown bird, throat feathers ruffling as it gave out its huge, lovely song.”

The point, here, is that we often have to look deep on the inside to see the beauty. And I’m probably reading more into it than Rhoda intended when I say that, when you encounter someone who seems grumpy on the outside, take some time to reflect on what’s inside. Obviously, you can’t see what’s on the the inside. But there may be some deep hurt in there that is causing what is appearing on the outside. We never know the complete story behind someone else’s attitude/behavior. Therefore, we should treat everyone with kindness, as much as is possible.

The other side of this is that it is up to us to maintain the inside, or as John Ortberg would put it, “keep our souls.” We are the “keepers of our souls.” Many of us spend way too much time preening the outside, so we look sharp or pretty. While there is certainly nothing wrong with looking sharp, what is on the inside is much more important. I would much rather be a solid follower of Christ, full of the joy of the Lord, than have the appearance of a model.

Always take time to look on the inside. It’s much more important than the outside.

Father, help me to be a good keeper of my soul and maintain what is on the inside. Help me to heed the warnings of Jesus concerning the Pharisees when he said that they were like whitewashed tombs, clean and pretty on the outside, but inside, full of dead men’s bones. I want my inside to be alive, not dead, so help me to keep it that way.
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.