Monday, November 28, 2016

Darnel sown amoung the seed.

O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you. Psalm 69:6

He put another parable before them, ‘The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep, his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, then the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s laborers went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does this darnel come from?” He said to them, “Some enemy has done this.” And the laborers said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because, when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ Matthew 13:24-30

And the thing about the Word is that it is a living sword, a tool wielded skillfully by the Spirit. And this morning the sown darnel is all of the foolishness and faults in my life that do not produce fruit, but that are sprinkled liberally among the thoughts and deeds of the day.

And of course, I hit Wikipedia this morning: Darnel usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and was a serious weed of cultivation until modern sorting machinery enabled darnel seeds to be separated efficiently from seed wheat The similarity between these two plants is so great that in some regions, darnel is referred to as "false wheat". It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. The spikes of L. temulentum are more slender than those of wheat. The spikelets are oriented edgeways to the rachis and have only a single glume, while those of wheat are oriented with the flat side to the rachis and have two glumes. The wheat will also appear brown when ripe, whereas the darnel is black.

And while it is true that the season of harvest has not yet arrived, today I confess my double-mindedness, and turn my day over to His glory.

Let me now go forth, O Lord my God, to the work of another day, still surrounded by Thy wonderful lovingkindnesses (plural) still pledged to Thy loyal service, still standing in Thy strength and not my own.

Let me today be a Christian not only in my words by also in my deeds.
Let me follow bravely in the footsteps of my Master, wherever they may lead:
Let me be hard and stern with myself:
Let there be no self-pity or self-indulgence in my life today:
Let my thinking be keen, my speech frank and open, and my action courageous and decisive.

O Christ my Lord, who for my sake and my brethren’s didst forgo all earthly comfort and fullness, forbid that I should ever again live unto myself. Amen. –John Baillie

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Now I'm here blinking in the starlight.

I totally woke up in a cloud of fret this morning. I said good morning to the weight, dove under the rising wave, and, honestly, sprang out of bed, dragging the pink and white comforter with me.

I sat down a little hunched, hopeful, sort of, as I opened up to this Morning’s Office, to be observed on the hour or half hour between six and nine a.m., Sunday November 27. And it was only a little after four.

Jesus taught us, saying: “I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet our heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, however much you worry, add one single cubit to your span of life? Matthew 6:25-27

Manna for the day. 

Do not worry about your life.


Just enough. My beloved Shepherd making me lie down in green pastures. And then, flip flip, over to the prayers for the twenty-seventh from John Baillie, naming the sin. Naming the faithlessness. 

O Lord my God, who lookest down in unspeakable love and tenderness upon the sorrows of earth, give me grace, I beseech Thee, to understand the meaning of such afflictions and disappointments as I myself am called upon to endure. Deliver me from all fretfulness. Let me be wise to draw from every dispensation of Thy providence the lesson Thou art minded to teach me. Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee. –John Baillie

And His Spirit wrapped His arms around me and comforted me with His peace. The peace that passes understanding. Beyond human imagination. 

My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up. –Psalm 5:3

And these days Everette is Rapunzel, Rapunzel from the movie Tangled. And she is wandering through her life with a hugest long trail of soft grey cotton cloth bound to her head, hijab-style, the swaddling wrap for Simone. 

And it is totally a mixed-up metaphor for me this morning, the lightness and softness of His burdens, the strength and courage of E, the stout-hearted princess facing her enemies, most, well actually, all of them created in her own imagination, and with the grand energy and willingness with which she casts her magical stream of hair to assist those around her and the sweet song she sings of golden healing around any ache, once again, real or imagined. 

Beyond human imagination. And, actually, E has the biggest and best imagination ever. And this peace is even beyond that. 

Glory be to Thee, O Father, and to Thee, O Christ, and to Thee, O Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Think about these things.

Gladden the soul of your servant, for to You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. Psalm 86:4

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

And it’s really about what is true and noble and right. His will.

Take my will, and give me Yours.

Oh Thou who compassest the whole earth with Thy most merciful favour and willest not that nay of Thy children should perish, I would call down Thy blessing today upon all who are striving towards the making of a better world. I pray, O God, especially–
For all who are valiant for truth:
For all who are working for purer and juster laws:
For all who are working for peace between the nations:
For all those who are engaged in healing disease:
For all who are engaged in the relief of poverty:
For all who are engaged in the rescue of the fallen:
For all who are working towards the restoration of the broken unity of Thy Holy Church:
For all who preach the gospel:
For all who bear witness to Christ in foreign lands:
For all who suffer for righteousness’ sake.
Cast down, O Lord, all the forces of cruelty and wrong. Defeat all selfish and worldly-minded schemes, and prosper all that is conceived among us in the spirit of Christ and carried out to the honour of His blessed name. Amen.  -John Baillie

And this prayer gladdens my heart. Because it becomes about what is of value. This is His will, that none of His beloved children should perish. And He is about restoration.

And I long to be about my Father’s business. Even if right now it is about my forty fourteen-year-olds, and it is just about writing engaging lesson plans this morning, and that I do a better job of scaffolding understanding, because that last bunch of tests looked pretty clueless. And give me Your insight and Your wisdom and Your grace, which is without limits.

Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

And to pray without ceasing.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bubble-wrap snuggling around my soul.

In His will is our peace. –Dante’s Inferno

 His will. This morning I was sitting here quietly, once again.

What is His will?

And I guess I was asking, Where is His will, when really the question should be, How is His will?

And once again, He spoke and answered me. From His word, as once again, I turned to The Morning Office.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and will save those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

His will is to save those with crushed spirits.

And in the quietness, there is no brokenheartedness aching within.
Simply quiet peace.

And I will take this as a gentle encouragement that this is His will, this quiet peace.


In His will is our peace.

Monday, November 21, 2016

My heart is an altar, and Thy love the flame.

The human mind and heart are a mystery; but God will loose an arrow at them, and suddenly they will be wounded. Psalm 64:7

O Holy Spirit of God, visit now this soul of mine, and tarry within it until eventide. Inspire all my thoughts. Pervade all my imaginations. Suggest all my decisions. Lodge in my will’s most inward citadel and order all my doings. Be with me in my silence and in my speech, in my haste and in my leisure, in company and in solitude, in the freshness of the morning and in the weariness of the evening; and give me grace at all times to rejoice in Thy mysterious companionship.  –John Baillie

Ah, the mystery of life. Let today be a day of gentle grace, tempered by Your Spirit, at peace in Your presence beyond understanding.