Good day to all to whom these presents come. Greetings. A week from tomorrow we shall, Lord willing, enter the month of April. In these area at least, that is not necessarily marked with warm breezes, sunshine, flowers, and attire of shorts and flip-flops. Even SNOW is not unknown in April. Perhaps we shall avoid that eventuality. Perhaps. The forecast for today is for a high of 69°, which sounds good to me. And I see no temps in the 10-day forecast below freezing, though a couple get close, in the mid-30's. We shall see.
Wife will be heading off shortly to assist in a Great Effort. Great-nephew, he being the son of wife's sister's son, has his 10th birthday party tomorrow. The Grand Event to be held in a local bowling alley (don't ask). So Wife is scheduled to go help his mom and niece to make cookies and such for the Grand Event of The Season. That was the plan, but as of a few minutes ago, she's not up to it physically, and is going to stay home. Mostly horizontal. We hope that she'll be better tomorrow. We hope.
I have been promised that I am exempted from all of this preparation stuff.. Not up to it, really, and would not be much help. Besides, there are a few errands to be run, and a chore or two around the house. So perhaps I'll be excused to deal with those matters. Tomorrow I'll have to put in an appearance, be there the entire time in fact.
I'm not much good at these things. We had some low-key ones for our own daughters, but beyond that, well, not much: never ever had one for me growing up, nor my sibs. Not part of the culture. A cake baked at home, with candles and a couple very modest gifts, that was it. Not some extravaganza. But others get into it, so whatever. I'll smile and try to avoid looking at my watch too often.
As promised, I did crack the book on The Art of Prayer yesterday. Interesting, very. I'm reading it carefully, in no small part because the author is an Episcopalian cleric. I've encountered more than a few Episcopalians (and one or two Anglicans, and they insist on the distinction) and have some strong reservations on their theology. This work seems pretty sound so far, but it's not light reading. The subject itself merits that, and caution about the author even more so. But there are some very sound voices found in places I wouldn't have normally looked, even some of the Calvinists, the 5-point TULIP adherents, are frequently quite right. So I'll go through this, slowly. The subject deserves careful, prayerful, attention. The author does, quite properly, address and dismiss some of the "high church" expectations of flowery formal language and such. Such language is to be found in all too many places. Some of the phrases deserve meditation on themselves, particularly the ones dealing with how being in prayer becomes part of who we are, and how it changes us. And how the Lord eagerly waits for us to approach Him, no matter what. How the sincere and honest prayer, matters, particularly the one we've all uttered at one time or another, "HELP!!". He hears. And responds. Because, despite it all, despite our failures and sins, our record, He loves us still. You want an example of a miracle? That's one. He loves us even when we're not particularly lovable by human standards. Good thing too. Now, do I have that same character of love? Not yet. That comes only from Him, from being close to Him more and more, taking on more and more of His character.
Our Old Testament passage is chapters 11, 12, and 13 of the book of Joshua.
As we see here, Joshua has been through a lot, and is now pretty old, over 100 years old in fact. The time of his departure is approaching, and he is doing his utmost to carry out the mission the Lord had assigned him, and to prepare the people for what is to come next. The effort to take the land is not yet complete, as we will see here, and is not complete even upon his death. But it is well and truly begun.
But the change that is coming is going to be a test of the entire nation. They'd been led by Moses for some 40 years. Moses was succeeded by Joshua, his assistant, for a good while. There is no leader over all the tribes, each one has its own, and its own assigned region. We will be seeing how well that works.
The reading in the New Testament is verses 1-32 in the 4th chapter in the Gospel of Luke.
This is Jesus really beginning His earthly ministry. No disciples, yet, but He was meeting opposition already.