yesterday, snow and a "high" of around 28°. Today, a high of 40° and a low of 38°!, 59 tomorrow. The 10-day forecast doesn't have even the lows being below freezing point. VERY unusual for this area at this time of year. Not that I mind. But the All-Wise Never Wrong weathercasters and "climate scientists" confidently predicted an unusually cold, bitter, long, nasty winter. Have they EVER been right??
Two songs for the day, both good any time, and both came to me yesterday as I was thinking / meditating on some things
God Leads His Dear Children Along which is a great song and also true
Lead Me Lord, I Will Follow which is our vow, not always kept unfortunately.
(by the way, clicking on those highlighted links will take you to a new tab that plays those songs).
Both go along with where my mind is today and for the last few days, and probably longer. Following where the Lord is leading, even if we don't see the whole picture. That takes trust, among other things, and faith that He knows better than we do. But it also reminds me of the saying, "don't ask the Lord to direct your path if you're not willing to move your feet". Is anyone else as guilty on that as I am? Especially for those whose trust has, in the past, been violated by those we had thought we could trust, it's particularly hard.
As some know, we -- wife and family and I -- have had to move around a good bit, more than we might have liked. I can remember several times, when we had some choices and options confronting us, and on occasion the wolf at the door, a prayer that I uttered in pain and desperation, "LORD! Show me! Show me what YOU want! I don't see Your will so You will have to make it so clear that I can't mistake it! Please!!". Meaning every syllable. Sometimes, we made that change, and things did not turn out the way we hoped that they would. But out of that apparent failure, came other things, good things, that could have been attained in no other way!! One of those arranged for our older daughter to meet her husband, as unlikely a match as you can imagine. Another move arranged for our younger daughter to meet her husband, someone she'd only known while playing online video games that they were both involved in (and that older daughter's husband was also). One put had me being THE adult Bible teacher in a small church that was in turmoil, a role I held for six, nearly seven years. It taught me to earnestly seek the Lord's guidance as I presented the lesson, and helped the members understand what it meant to them and their own lives. At the same time, that era also put both of us in contact with persons in many parts of the world and all through much of the United States, persons we could never have met otherwise. Some of whom we still interact with. Much else.
Had we stayed in the town we'd lived in most of our lives including the first two years of our marriage, none of that would have happened. Yes, there was a price for that. There always is. But worth it. It let us grow. It forced us to grow.
About 23 years ago, while living in East Tennessee, I attended a men's conference with some of the men in our church as well as from other churches in the area. One of the speakers had started out as just a kid from the hillbilly parts of the area around Sevier County, and still had the speech patterns. But he had, in an utterly improbable series of events, ended up carrying the Gospel all around central and south America, and elsewhere also. I never forgot what he told us: "If you put your hand in God's hand, He'll put your feet in places you never could have imagined". He had some experience behind that statement.
As history is measured, in a very short time, all of us will be gone, and a distant memory if even that. But, as we were told,
Our objective really should be to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the presence of the Lord". Should be. Our actions often don't support the notion that such is our real objective. Instead, we, and definitely I include myself, find our attention and focus on those short term day to day things, and the things that gain approval from those around us. Rather than those things that He has called us to emphasize and to do. So we honor the world, rather than Him. Not good.
Yes, it's on my heart especially hard these days. Presages something, I do believe.
The assigned reading for today in the Old Testament is chapters 24 and 25 of Leviticus.
This gets us into some things that show some contrast between their world, and ours.
Our portion in the New Testament today is verses 23-45 in chapter 1 of the Gospel of Mark.
This is a big change in emphasis from what we saw in Matthew and will see in Luke. No shepherds, no Magi, none of that. Mark gets right to what he, and probably his target audience, would be focused on.