15 What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. 16 So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary. 17 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! 18 I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. 19 I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. 20 My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. 21 It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. 22 I truly delight in God's commands, 23 but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24 I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? 25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (The Message)
From Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans, our Second Reading for Sunday, July 3: Proper 9. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions unless God intercedes through Jesus Christ.
My weight is down thirty pounds from last October, but I intended it to be down forty pounds by now. The road to Hell. My exercise program was intended to be vigorous by now, but is still only a half-mile morning walk -- the road to Hell. Speak, Lord.
The Lord speaks not from the sky but through people. John sent me a book, Younger Next Year. The cardiologist has me starting cardiac rehab, a gym program with heart monitors, one hour, 8:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday starting Monday, July 11. My good intention is for it to be the kick-off for regular morning gym. Like St. Paul, my intentions are good. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Yesterday was our fifty-fourth anniversary. June 29, 1957. Our wedding was the first at Holy Nativity. A new church, a mission of St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Holy Nativity was only two years old, a concrete block building with a concrete floor and metal folding chairs. In years to come, our three children were baptized at Holy Nativity. Coming home on leave during the twenty Navy years, we always returned to Holy Nativity. In the past thirty years we have served four parishes, and now after various retirements I’m on my third “tour” as priest associate at Holy Nativity. We intend to stay.
My good intention for Fall 2011 is a mid-week Bible study. Starts Tuesday morning, September 6th. Gather 9:45 a.m. for coffee or tea in my office conference room at Holy Nativity. Bible study 10:00 to 11:10. All are invited and welcome, from any church or no church. So far, ten people have emailed me to put them on the list. That’s my intention for Fall 2011. Kyrie, eleison.
TW+ in +Time