A Short Prayer

“God, of thy goodness, give me Thyself;
for Thou art enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less
that can be full honor to Thee.
And if I ask anything that is less,
ever Shall I be in want,
for only in Thee have I all” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love)

I can’t think of a single thing to add to that prayer. It covers everything. It’s a good, short prayer for when you have no words of your own.

 

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Just Plain Tired

I’m thankful tomorrow’s Friday. I feel like I’m coasting on fumes, metaphorically speaking (since I filled up with actual gas this morning).

The Crud is slowly going away, but my energy’s still nil. I can function and do all my usual daily stuff, but I’m still not planning on any 5K runs or Radnor hikes at this point.

Right now, my idea of a good time is an extended nap. The old joke goes something like this: “I’m good in bed. I could sleep for days.” That’s how I feel at the present.

Still, I don’t have any toe tags. That makes it another good day to count all my blessings, which are still too many to mention.

That said, I’m going to be a good Boy Scout and go to bed a bit early tonight.

Good night to all of you out there. And don’t forget to give thanks if you woke up still breathing this morning. That’s still a gift.

 

 

Wednesday Wisdom


“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God ’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this” (Proverbs 3:5-12, The Message)

It turned out to be a nostalgic kind of day for me. I had an old Bourgeois Tagg song from 1987 stuck in my head all day. Here’s the link to the song if you’re not familiar with the name of the artists. They weren’t exactly household names back in the day, but they made at least one fantastic song.

I also made the trip back in to the land of The Upside Down by revisiting Stranger Things Season 1. At least the first episode. I still get the same warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling that I did the first time. I also want to head over to the mall for Cinnabons and some CDs from Camelot music. It’s available for streaming on Netflix with a new season just around the corner.

I think I get nostalgic for the 80’s because life was much easier then (as it should be when you’re a kid). I recognize that I can’t go back, but I have to live today in the place where God has planted me.

As always, I recognize that I’m very much in need of wisdom. Yet at the same time, I seem to forget most of the time that for me to gain wisdom, all God asks of me is for me to ask for it. Not in a half-hearted, one-time prayer, but in an everyday, persistent, keep-asking-keep-knocking, as-if-my-very-life-depended-on-it kind of prayer.

Lord, grant your children wisdom to be able to navigate this life and live out the hope you promised so that others become envious of that hope we have and want to know more about it.

Amen.

No Greater Mercy

“There is no greater mercy that I know of on earth than good health except it be sickness; and that has often been a greater mercy to me than health.

It is a good thing to be without a trouble; but it is a better thing to have a trouble, and know how to get grace enough to bear it.

I am not so much afraid of the devil when he roars, as I am when he pretends to go to sleep. I think that, oftentimes, a roaring devil keeps us awake; and the troubles of this life stir us up to go to God in prayer, and that which looks to us ill turns to our good.

‘We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28 KJV).

C.H. Spurgeon, The Simplicity and Sublimity of Salvation, delivered June 5, 1892.

The Crud continues. It’s better but not gone. Still, I supposed little ailments like this one keep me from taking good health totally for granted.

I’ve heard that the Bible teaches us not to give thanks FOR all things, but to give thanks IN all things. Not everything that happens to us (or that we cause to happen) is good– sometimes, it’s downright evil or nasty– but God works in EVERYTHING for good.

I’d rather have all the creature comforts, but I know that sickness and trouble can wake me up from my spiritual stupor and get me on my knees faster than any material blessing ever could.

So I’m thankful for a little Crud. I’m thankful that it’s not any worse. I’ll be ever so much more thankful when all this coughing ceases, but if this is the worst that ever happens to me, I’m doing alright.

 

 

I’m Sorry

In the wake of the scandal revolving around Harvey Weinstein, so many women have come forward with the simple statement of #metoo. As in they too were victims of sexual harassment or assault.

I wish I could say that I can relate or even that I understand. Honestly, I can’t. I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like, not only in the moment, but for days and months and years afterwards to live in the shame and false guilt of it all.

I’m sorry that some men are pigs and predators who think that women exist solely as objects to satisfy their own never-ending and degraded lusts. They forget that women bear the imago dei, the image of God, as much as men.

I’m sorry that it’s not only women who can say #metoo. Many boys and some men have been harassed and assaulted. They need to be heard as well. They need to find hope and healing.

I’m sorry that so many have made you feel ashamed. Many have tried to place the blame on you rather than on the deviant where it belongs. Statements like “She was asking for it” or “She said no but really meant yes,” are nothing more than lies from the very pit of hell and should go back there where they belong.

I know that Jesus never condemned anyone who was hurting or broken. He said to them, “Come to me, and I will give you rest for your souls.” I know that Jesus offers healing and restoration for everyone wounded and scarred at the hands of another.

I’m sorry that all of us have to live in a broken world where almost nothing is they way it was supposed to be. I’m thankful that one day (hopefully sooner than later) God will restore creation to the way it was before sin entered the picture. He will make all things new again and wipe away every tear from the eyes of those who have suffered or grieved.

I want to understand.  From now on, I will do my best to understand and to celebrate the fact that the enemy threw his very worst at you and you survived. The fact that you’re still here is in itself a victory.

 

The Crud III: Near the End (Hopefully)

Last night, I did something I probably haven’t done since I was like 5 or so. I went to bed at 8:30. And I did so voluntarily without anyone else telling me I should. I was that tired.

This latest incarnation of The Crud doesn’t make me feel sick or icky. I just feel extremely sleepy most of the time. Hence, the early bed time.

I woke up this morning feeling 500% better. Not all the way cured, but much closer.

I attended the Sunday gathering of my church (because after this weekend, I refuse to say that I go to church since the church isn’t a place but a body of believers).

Afterwards, I browsed all sorts of retro stuff at Pre to Post Modern. I had some fantastic vegetarian pho at Peace, Love and, Pho. I did some quality music hunting at Grimey’s.

I capped the day off with community group, followed by fellowship and dinner at Hwy 55. It was a good day.

All that said, I’m still not completely cured. I still have a lingering cough, and I’m not exactly ready to go out and run that 5K race just yet.

Oh, and Peanut the cat says hi. Or she probably would if she weren’t curled up next to me, asleep and completely oblivious to everything. At the moment, she looks more like the tiny kitten that I rescued way back in June.

My health may not be picture perfect, but I did manage to wake up this morning and the part of my brain that tells me when I need to pee still works, so I call that a win.

Good night, sports fans.

 

Camp Widjiwagan

I attended a Kairos retreat from Friday evening until Saturday evening. I didn’t put it all together until after I arrived, but having a retreat at a remote YMCA camp on Friday the 13th (and staying in cabin 13)? It’s a good thing I’m not superstitious.

A good time was truly had by all. It was good for me to get away to the woods, even if only for 24 hours. The camp reminded me of a typical summer camp that I would have gone to as a kid (and yes, even that infamous Camp Crystal Lake where Jason Voorhees made his debut).

The only downside (and it wasn’t really much of one) was that I still have The Crud. It didn’t affect me other than a little bit of coughing and the whole not having a lot of energy thing.

My takeaway from the speaker was that we’re called to make disciples, and that means not a mere transference of information and Bible knowledge but “teaching them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20, NIV).

That means I have to live out what I believe if I want to make disciples who live out what they believe. It’s simple but not easy yet definitely worth it.

Now I’m off to bed early to deal with this Crud.