Today I thank God for his mercies. Everyday God’s mercies are new. When we stop to think about it, that means yesterday’s mercies were for yesterday’s burdens and trials and problems and troubles. Today’s mercies are for today’s troubles and tomorrow’s mercies, which will again be new, are for tomorrow’s burdens. Wow. I think that when Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble [Matthew 6:34], He was meditating on Lamentations 3:22-23, that tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning!
So today’s mercies are for today. They are not designed to carry tomorrow’s burdens. There will be new mercies tomorrow for that. Today’s mercies are for today. The mercies needed to carry me through this hour are given to me this hour. As a pastor friend of mine once said, “Stay under the mercies of God.” By God’s grace, that is where I am going to abide today.
Remember the words of Jesus, “who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” [Matt. 7:27]. Well, I don’t know about the adding part but I do know that worry can subtract from my life. It can rob me of the joy of today and infringe on other things that need to get done today.
H.B. London, in his weekly letter to pastors entitled,The Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, tells about meeting a man who had developed a worry chart. He wanted to get further insight into his worries and keep track of them so he created this chart. To his surprise, he found out several things: “1) Most of the things he worried about never did materialize. 2) Another person’s opinion created his worries and he had absolutely no control over that person — so why worry? 3) Other things on his list were placed at the feet of other people to handle — no longer his worry.” [I believe it was Mark Twain who said a very similar things as #1 above.]
We all have concerns and anxieties that weigh on our hearts and minds. Learning to surrender them to God is a part of our walk of faith. For today I want to keep anxiety under control and in perspective. The Holy Spirit through Peter tells me to do that, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” [1 Peter 5:7].
We had a great time bonding with our new grandson and with the family. Aidan Joshua was born on June 25. And yes, I did cuddle him in my arms as we spent time together.
June 25 happened to be the 480th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession . The Ausburg Confession is the document that was presented to the Emperor of the Roman Empire, Charles V, as a Confession of the truth of God’s Word, distinct from Romanism on the one hand and other theologies [teachings and doctrines] that were on the rise at the time of the Reformation, on the other. To this day the Augsburg Confession guides and governs our interpretation of Scripture as Lutherans.
So as I was cuddling Aidan on the deck I read him a couple of paragraphs from the Augsburg Confession. [Trying to start him out on the right foot.] And I prayed for God’s favor in his life and for His wisdom and guidance. May Aidan, at a very young age, begin to know what it means to abide in Jesus Christ.
I had a great Father’s Day. I had time with our adult kids and they blessed me with a hammock. I have already taken one nap in it. Later this week Kim and I will be in Chicago for the birth of our second grandchild.
In my sermon yesterday I mentioned a quote from H. B. London in his book Pause, Recharge, Refresh; “Dad’s are priceless” [p.343]. We may not always think about the importance of our presence in the home, but dad, your presence in the home is priceless! All you dad’s out there, remember that. Tuck it away deep in your heart. And when you are in your home physically, be there mentally and emotionally and spiritually. Be engaged. Be involved in the lives of your children.
I am looking forward to hugging and cuddling our new grandchild in a few days and encouraging our son Josh by telling him that I am proud of him and that his presence in his home is priceless.
Today I have a need to “strengthen myself in the Lord.” How am I going to do that? Prayer? – yes. Read the Bible? – yes. And also remind myself that God is with me, that He is a great God worthy of praise, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, that I matter to God, and that He is my hiding place. It also happens as I intentionally give thanks to Him for family and church family and creation and for Jesus and for the Holy Spirit.
1 Samuel 30:3-6 tells us that David “strengthened himself in the Lord.” I bet that is why a number of the Psalms were written. David was strengthening himself in the Lord. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” [from Psalm 103]. I will do the same today.
As I stand outside these days in the early morning, I have taken deep breaths and just breathed in the fresh air. I love this time of the year. I thank God for the morning sun, the fresh air, the many shades of green, the songs of the birds — and the priviledge of being alive. Having spent a number of my years in the mountains of Ecuador, I have come to enjoy these types of days very much. There is something healthy about the morning deep breath of fresh air. My heart does respond with one of my favorite hymns, This Is My Father’s World.
Here I go! I am advancing and learning modern technology. I will be using this blogging tool to record my thoughts, prayers, current events and communicate to current members as well as prospective new members. Check back soon for my additional entries.