Happy Birthday to Me

22 Jun

IMG_3966It is a great day to celebrate – well I feel that way about most days.

I am planning a great day.  I birthday meal with Mom and Dad, my brother, my sister and her husband.  And then the Orioles are playing the Blue Jays in Toronto.  I am hoping that will win for me.

O.K. so let use the occasion of marking another year past to bring you up to date on some of my life details.

For this past year I have lived with my parents in their house to help care for the challenges of growing old.  Mom’s health is about the same and Dad seems to sleep a little more.  The goods news is that even through their bodies are not young anymore, their minds and spirits are in great shape.  I see my brother, Henry, twice a week when he comes to do his laundry, keep up the lawn, and have dinner with us.  He also come for Sunday morning brunch.

Speaking of Sunday, I think I told you I have been appointed for another year to my little church in Smithsburg.  I am enjoying the work and on Sunday I will being a Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark.  One of my most fun days so far was taking a couple of youth to an Orioles game and visiting one of the oldest church’s in the Baltimore area.  (see attached photo).

I still play “Words with Friends” and always looking for a new game.  I also have wasted way too many hours on Candy Crush Saga.  A shout out to my oldest son for getting me addicted. (I am on level 176 today)

I am so grateful for God’s presence, good work to do, and love to share.

I enjoyed reading through Psalm 86 very much.  I identified with the praise part.  The psalmist is asking God’s help against an adversary; which is not my experience.  But read this psalm, paraphrase by Eugene Peterson and see where you fit.

1-7 Bend an ear, God; answer me.     I’m one miserable wretch! Keep me safe—haven’t I lived a good life?     Help your servant—I’m depending on you! You’re my God; have mercy on me.     I count on you from morning to night. Give your servant a happy life;     I put myself in your hands! You’re well-known as good and forgiving,     bighearted to all who ask for help. Pay attention, God, to my prayer;     bend down and listen to my cry for help. Every time I’m in trouble I call on you,     confident that you’ll answer.

8-10 There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord, and nothing to compare with your works. All the nations you made are on their way,     ready to give honor to you, O Lord, Ready to put your beauty on display, parading your greatness, And the great things you do—     God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!

I like the second part of the psalm because it is what I want in my life; for God to train me and keep me walking on the path.  I really like the idea of putting my heart and mind together.  Ancient wisdom called this the “single eye”.  For me it is an alignment with  of my whole self with God’s spirit.  A great place of joy.

11-17 Train me, God, to walk straight;     then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind;     then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord;     I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to. You’ve always been great toward me—what love!     You snatched me from the brink of disaster! God, these bullies have reared their heads!     A gang of thugs is after me—     and they don’t care a thing about you. But you, O God, are both tender and kind,     not easily angered, immense in love,     and you never, never quit. So look me in the eye and show kindness,     give your servant the strength to go on,     save your dear, dear child! Make a show of how much you love me     so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed, As you, God, gently and powerfully     put me back on my feet.

So, my prayer for you is to have a blessed day.  Eat some chocolate and think of me.  And know that I have enjoyed every moment of the last year and am looking forward to another year traveling with God.

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