24 September 2017

God's Word for Sunday, 9/24/17

Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.
Hebrews 10:35-36 MSG

23 September 2017

The Week of Vacation That Wasn't

So my wife and I scheduled vacation days for this past week, as we were expecting company. That didn't pan out, but we left the vacation days on the schedule. We figured we'd get some projects done, wouldn't have to work at it too hard, and could do as we pleased, the rest of the time.

So (and you probably already know what's coming, here) last Saturday I woke up feeling as though I'd swallowed a box of razor blades during the night. For most of the last week, symptoms have included sinus drainage, hoarseness, a heavy wracking cough, sneezing, extreme fatigue ... and an inability to sleep due to the immediate onset of that heavy cough I just mentioned. Oh, did I mention that because breathing is difficult, I tend to black out and fall over if I stop breathing for a minute?

In short, it's been horribly, absolutely miserable. But a couple of days ago, it got better.

I should take this occasion to point out that "better" than "horribly, absolutely miserable" means I no longer feel like I'm dying. Now it's just a miserable, pain in the proverbial backside. Still coughing if I try to talk, and still can't come close to sleeping through the night.

Oh, we had big plans: tie up a wrap-around, railing-height wind break for the deck ... install the LED string lights on the front railing and stairs ... rake the leaves ... replace a burned-out halogen bulb in the dusk-to-dawn floodlights above the garage. You know, things like that.

Yeah, right.

We mowed most of the leaves, but did no raking. I discovered that none of the local stores have the halogen bulbs in stock. And that's pretty much it.

I supposed I'll take the optimistic view, and express the relief that since I wouldn't have been able to go to work, then at least I didn't have to call in every morning.

So today we're going to indulge ourselves with chips and our chili-and-cheese dip, and watch some movies.

God's Word for Saturday, 9/23/17

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Romans 5:3-4 MSG

22 September 2017

An Island in a Sea ... of Fog

Our mountainside home has been adrift in a sea of fog for two days now. The fog isn't everywhere, but low clouds plus higher elevation equals pea soup.

I've tried to photograph it, but that requires longer distance vistas, and the clouds and mountainsides are too close for that to work.

God's Word for Friday, 9/22/17

So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God. Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! For instance: Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing; I’ll sing to your name! And this one: Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together! And again: People of all nations, celebrate God! All colors and races, give hearty praise! And Isaiah’s word: There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse, breaking through the earth and growing tree tall, Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope! Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!
Romans 15:7 MSG

21 September 2017

God's Word for Thursday, 9/21/17

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. But if it comes to that, we’d rather the test showed our failure than yours. We’re rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn’t possibly do otherwise.
We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.

2 Corinthians 13:5-9 MSG

20 September 2017

God's Word for Wednesday, 9/20/17

Fear not, Earth! Be glad and celebrate! God has done great things. Fear not, wild animals! The fields and meadows are greening up. The trees are bearing fruit again: a bumper crop of fig trees and vines! Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your God. He’s giving you a teacher to train you how to live right— Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do. And plenty of food for your body—silos full of grain, casks of wine and barrels of olive oil.
Joel 2:23 MSG