Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. Micah 7:7–8, RSV
Dear Father in heaven, as your children we stand before you and lift our eyes to you. We are poor, needy people, often wretched and tormented. Let your eyes rest upon us. Grant us the help we need. Bless us when we gather in the name of Jesus Christ, that we may be a people who learn to serve you on all the paths we follow, even if it proves bitterly hard. Give us true faith for every moment. May we have joy and confidence that you are with your children, that you remain with them forever, until the great time of redemption when we will rejoice with all past generations and with all who are living today. Amen.
TODAY’S DAILY DIG
It matters notwhat my abilities may be then, provided that I possess you, Lord. Do what you will with this insignificant creature. Whether it be that I should work, or become inspired, or be the recipient of your impressions, it is all the same. Everything is yours, everything is from you and for you.…It is for you, Lord, to regulate everything: direction, humiliations, sanctification, perfection, and salvation – all are your business.
Source: The Joy of Full Surrender
Verse of the Day
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
If you had known Jesus’ address in Nazareth along about A.D. 20, you could have gone to that house and said, “God lives here!” While the doctrine of Jesus being fully God and fully man — fully God yet having emptied himself of all of his divine privilege (Phil. 2:5-7) — is nearly impossible to fully understand, it is the awesome reality of grace. God chose to be like us because we could not be like him. God came down to us because we could not ascend to him. In Jesus, God came to us in fullness so we could be full in him.
Almighty God, I acknowledge that you are too great for me to comprehend. Yet as marvelous and mighty and majestic as you are, your greater than my mind can grasp. And your grace, O God, amazes me. Thank you for sending Jesus so I can know you. Thank you for sending Jesus so I could be forgiven. Thank you for sending Jesus so I can go home to you and live forever. Thank you Jesus, for coming to redeem me and then returning back to the Father so I can speak to him through you. In your name Jesus, and because of your grace, I pray with boldness before our Father. Amen.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Saint of the Day for July 16
The Story of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Hermits lived on Mount Carmel near the Fountain of Elijah in northern Israel in the 12th century. They had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726, it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.
Saint Teresa of Avila called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” Saint John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel, and helping him escape from prison. Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness. On her First Communion day, Thérèse dedicated her life to Mary. During the last days of her life she frequently spoke of Mary.
There is a tradition—which may not be historical—that Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, a leader of the Carmelites, and gave him a scapular, telling him to promote devotion to it. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection and calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to her in a special way. The scapular reminds us of the gospel call to prayer and penance—a call that Mary models in a splendid way.
The Carmelites were known from early on as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” The title suggests that they saw Mary not only as “mother,” but also as “sister.” The word sister is a reminder that Mary is very close to us. She is the daughter of God and therefore can help us be authentic daughters and sons of God. She also can help us grow in appreciation of being sisters and brothers to one another. She leads us to a new realization that all human beings belong to the family of God. When such a conviction grows, there is hope that the human race can find its way to peace.
Mary, under the Title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, is the Patron Saint of:
What Jesus Did! ‘His Sheep’
[Jesus said,] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.”
O Father, may I never ever outlive my love for you. May I never doubt your love and steadfast care. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
Morning & Evening: Morning Devo, Jul. 16th
You will arise and have pity on Zion;
it is the time to favor her;
the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold her stones dear
and have pity on her dust.
A selfish man in trouble is exceedingly hard to comfort, because the springs of his comfort are entirely within himself, and when he is sad all his springs are dry. But a large-hearted man full of Christian generosity has other springs from which to supply himself with comfort beside those that lie within. He can go to his God first of all and there find abundant help; and he can discover arguments for consolation in things relating to the world at large, to his country, and, above all, to the Church. David in this Psalm was exceedingly sorrowful; he wrote, “I am like an owl of the waste places; I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.”1 The only way in which he could comfort himself was in the reflection that God would arise and have mercy upon Zion. Though he was sad, yet Zion should prosper; however low his own estate, yet Zion would arise.
Christian man, learn to comfort yourself in God’s gracious dealing toward the Church. That which is so dear to your Master, should it not also be supremely precious to you? Although your path be dark, can you not cheer your heart with the triumphs of His cross and the spread of His truth? Our own personal troubles are forgotten while we look not only upon what God has done and is doing for Zion, but on the glorious things He will yet do for His Church.
Try this approach, O believer, whenever you are sad of heart and in heaviness of spirit: Forget yourself and your little concerns, and seek the welfare and prosperity of Zion. When you kneel in prayer to God, limit not your petition to the narrow circle of your own life, tried though it be, but send out your longing prayers for the church’s prosperity. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,”2 and your own soul shall be refreshed.
God’s Selection Process
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
July 16, 2018
“So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, ‘Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.'” Judges 7:5
Would you ever take on an army of 100,000 with only 300 men? Sound preposterous? I agree. However, this is exactly what happened with Gideon. It was bad enough that he began with 10,000 against 100,000, but this was too many men according to God. He would not allow Gideon to fight with this many soldiers, because the temptation would still remain to believe that it was the strength of his army that won the victory. God told Gideon to pare down his army to a mere 300. This would ensure that God would receive total credit for the victory. This is a law in the Kingdom of God. All glory must go to Him. “Announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained” (Judg. 7:3).
Now there are 10,000 men left but that was still too many. God gave Gideon an interesting selection method for the 300 as he took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink” (Judg. 7:5b). What was the significance of this? Those soldiers who lapped water like a dog were soldiers who were more aware of the enemy around them compared to those who kneeled to drink. The lappers were men who were on constant guard to the danger around them, keeping their eyes up and looking about them. The others could be easily picked off.
If you and I are going to be one of God’s elite, we must be battle ready. We must be sensitive to the spiritual dangers around us. We must be trained to go about our business while, at the same time, discern when the enemy of our souls is prowling about seeking to destroy us. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Beware of the spiritual dangers around you.
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
July 16, 2018
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”(Mark 1:35-36).
How do you get refueled? When our cars run low on fuel, we simply drop by the local filling station to get more fuel. When our bodies are hungry, we feed them. How do we refuel our spiritual lives? We can learn from the example Jesus modeled in His life.
In the New Testament we see that Jesus had a very demanding schedule. He traveled from town to town, often walking many miles between the towns. He spent a lot of time with people. As a speaker and teacher I can tell you that it is very draining to minister for extended periods. Your body and your spirit becomes fatigued.
The day before the above scripture was recorded, Jesus had a full day of ministry healing the sick, delivering people from demons and walking to different cities (Mark 1:29-37). The following day it says Jesus got up before the sun rose and went to pray. The disciples were wondering where He was.
When Jesus was on earth, He was fully man. Everything He did was based upon receiving specific directions and power from His father to do them. He was not operating as God, but as a human being with the same limitations you and I have. So, Jesus knew one of the key ways to refuel His mind, body and spirit was by spending time in prayer to His Heavenly Father.
This is a critical discipline for every follower of Jesus if you expect to have power and victory in your Christian walk. We each need to find a solitary place to focus upon the Lord, His Word and His input for our lives.
If this is not a part of your daily experience, why not start tomorrow with a few minutes of focused time of reading and prayer. You will be encouraged with the new spiritual focus you will have by making this a priority.
Listening to the Father’s Heart – July 16
by Os Hillman
Son, you must be proactive in repelling the arrows of the enemy. He is always at your ear, whispering deceptive messages designed to take you into a spiritual ditch. Unless you train yourself to ask “Who said that?” each time a voice speaks to you, the enemy will prevail. I give you a shield; use it! It does you no good if it is lying on the ground. My Son repelled the same attacks by citing my words when Satan came to him. You must do the same to repel his attacks. You know how relentless he is. Be particularly sensitive after great victories. He usually comes at you hard after you have inflicted heavy damage to his kingdom. He will bring reinforcements against you. Build a deep foundation of intercession to withstand his attacks. Do it now, son. And remember, compromise always leads to deceit, but you are more than a conqueror if you remain in me.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:14-15
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
NATIONAL CORN FRITTERS DAY
July 16 is National Corn Fritters Day! Corn fritters are tasty bites of fried or baked corn batter.
These bright crispy morsels make great additions to summer barbecues and backyard gatherings. The main ingredients include corn, meal, egg, milk, and butter. While they may have originated in the south, corn fritters can easily be changed up with peppers, onions or herbs to give them regional and seasonal flair.
When paired with other vegetables and a pan-fried fish filet, these versatile cakes can be added to a lightly toasted bun for a unique fish sandwich. Don’t look at this dish as just a side, but a functional part of a complete meal.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Head to your local Southern-style restaurant or grab your frying pan to whip up some homemade fritters! Here are a grilled corn fritter and a fresh sweet corn fritter recipe for you to try. Post on social media using #NationalCornFrittersDay.
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Corn Fritters Day.