Friday, December 7, 2007

The waggle-tailed wiener dog who showed up yesterday has adopted us entirely. He’s settled into a box on the front porch, greets us with eager eyes and a whirling tail and bids us farewell amid whines of a piteous pitch. His attachment is beginning to be mirrored by each of us, and I seriously doubt he will ever find another home. There’s something about a hungry orphan that seems to belong at Scottsburrow.

We hosted the largest group yet for “Friday Night at Scottsburrow”. The Delta Force arrived in formation, along with the inseparable Emily and LinN, the faithful Josh, the devoted Nick and Matt and Nathan to boot. The tape tonight dealt with faithfulness—in finances and in time. Papa was full of fun, made myriads of wisecracks and teased to the max. And he neglected to chase everyone out until near eleven.

I spent the morning with Daniel—a man, recognized in heaven as a “man of esteem”. As I read I tried to pick out what it was that earned him this title, from a heavenly messenger. As a youth, he purposed to please God, and then sought the approval of his authorities for his goals. And God blessed him and granted him favor with his authorities. Later on, his purpose to please held strong. His enemies, in jealousy, commented that were they to find anything wrong with him, it would have to be in his worship of God. And so he was thrown to the lions. His enemies knew that his worship would remain steadfast, regardless of the circumstances. God allowed the wicked edict, and the unjust punishment in order to glorify Himself when He rescued Daniel from the mouths of the lions. Daniel sought the Lord untiringly, in spite of sickness, fatigue and spiritual warfare and was rewarded with understanding from the Lord. When he discovered that Jeremiah had prophesied the end of the captivity in his time, he bowed his knees before God, confessing his sins and the sins of his nation and pleading the Lord’s compassion—praying according to God’s known will. God said he had humbled himself and set himself to understand God’s word. As soon as Daniel started praying, the Lord heard him and sent answers—because He esteemed him. God esteemed a man. He thought highly of him. The very last verse is a message from God saying, “Go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”

I must purpose to be like this man whom God esteemed: set my heart to please God, to serve those He has placed me under with humility and wisdom, to worship God with diligence, in spite of obstacles, to be guilty only of worshipping Him, to pray according to God’s will, repenting for myself and others, to set my heart to understanding His word.

Lord, I purpose now to please Thee

It becomes my solemn duty

To be so in love with Thee

That visions of Thy glory fill me.

May the fault of faithful worship

Be the only cause for cursing.

Set my heart to understand Thee

That I may proclaim Thy beauty.

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