“He Remembers That We Are Dust”

Today is Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Three more days until our family reunion.

Quote of the Day

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” ~ Jerry Seinfeld

Word of the Day

Zugzwang ~ a situation in which a player is limited to moves that cost pieces or have a damaging positional effect. This word was featured heavily in season eight of Criminal Minds. It literally means “compulsion to move,” and represents a situation where you have to move, even though you would rather not.

Today is World Baking Day, so get out there and bake stuff. Cookies, pies, cakes, casseroles, whatever. Send the cookies and pies to me.

As usual, on Wednesday, there’s not much going on around, to speak of. We are waiting for the weekend, for our trip to east Texas to visit uncle and cousins (and brother for my mother). Our vacation to Oregon looms ever closer. Seventeen days, to be exact.

The Rangers continue their winning streak, which is now at seven games. But listen, folks. They simply aren’t playing anyone that’s any good, right now. Their current series is against the Phillies, who are 14-22 on the season. However, a win is a win, right? And the Rangers are finally at .500. They are in a tie for second place, eight games out.

The Red Sox beat the Cardinals last night, and the Cardinals have a better record, so that’s good. The Sox remain in third place in the AL East, four games out.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scripture references are ESV, unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared.
Psalm 76:11
Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word! 
Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.

Psalm 119:169-170
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.
Psalm 54:6
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:13-14

Bill Giovannetti writes of frustrations with a beloved pet. We all know the sound, at least all of us who have pets. That disgusting sound that means the cat or dog is about to barf. Bill had one occasion when his dog, Lacy, did so on the nicest rug in the house, rather than on the nearby tile floor. His impatience grew as he cleaned up and wondered, “Why this rug? why not the tile floor? What’s she gotten into to upset her stomach?”

Later, as he read Psalm 103, he was convicted with the knowledge that God cleans up after us without griping or complaining at us. “My Father knows how weak I am. He understands my limitations. His patience knows no bounds.”

I have had similar experiences, not so much with pets as with a daughter. There are plenty of frustrating times with an autistic child, as many parents know. But many, also, are the times when I hug my head in shame after getting angry with our daughter, realizing that I tend to act the same way toward my Father in heaven. It’s a sobering realization, I assure you.

“Gracious Father, no matter how many times I mess up, You never sigh, never frown, never chide. You make all things new, over and over again. Thank you.” ~ Bill Giovannetti

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Revelation 21:5-7

Father, keep me ever mindful of the grace you have shown me in my life, through all of my mess-ups and failures, through all of my outright rebellion. Help me to show the same grace to everyone with whom I come in contact, in family, in work, in life. Your grace is sufficient.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

Victory Celebration

“Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.” – Gustav Mahler
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is panjandrum, which is “a self-important or pretentious official.”

Today is World Baking Day. Too bad it’s on a Tuesday. I don’t have time to bake, today.

Band practice was a little bit of a downer, last night. I enjoyed being with my musician friends, but it seemed as if the director did nothing but yell at us last night. As I talked to another trombone player, he opined that it was about the same as always, and laughed. I suppose I was a little more sensitive last night, for some reason. Who knows? Maybe part of it is that we are playing a piece that is a medley of music from Dances with Wolves, which has the most boring trombone part I have ever played!

The Red Sox got rained out in Kansas City, last night, and Baltimore didn’t play, either, so nothing changed in the AL East. The Rangers lost to the A’s (what??) in Oakland. Maybe it was jet lag. Or starting the game at 9:00PM Central Time. But that drops Dutch Oven to 3-3 on the season. Fortunately, Seattle didn’t play, so they are now in a “virtual tie,” like the Red Sox and O’s, with a mere 4 percentage points between them.

It’s Tuesday. Post-Monday. One of my work friends and I decided, yesterday, that Monday is really “Hump Day.” If we can get through Monday, the rest of the week is downhill. 😀 My wife doesn’t agree. She feels like the whole week is uphill until Friday. I totally get that.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—
the singers in front, the musicians last, between them virgins playing tambourines:
“Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!”
There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead, the princes of Judah in their throng, the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

Psalm 68:24-27

We can learn a lot about worship from Israel, as they are frequently seen worshiping with “exuberance and jubilation.” Our public, corporate worship should be, every time we gather, “a victory celebration!”

“Great God, whose name is praised by faithful men and women in every land, take my songs of gratitude and words of witness and fuse them into what all your people celebrate. In the strong name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

As we prepare for a “Night of Worship” this coming Saturday evening, I want my heart to be in that kind of place, where this gathering of God’s people, Christ followers, is, indeed, a victory celebration.

Father, prepare my heart, as I have been praying for you to prepare everyone’s, for this worship time, this victory celebration. This will be the first event of this type that I have participated in. Sure, I have been involved with nights of praise and worship before, but this is different. This will be a more “eclectic” gathering, of people that I know and don’t know, as we gather to celebrate that which we have in common, a union with Jesus Christ, our Savior. May we walk in your Kingdom as we move toward this night, and may your Holy Spirit “show up” and radically change us.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends!