Psalms

You lifted me out


View of American Falls seen looking across top of Bridal Veil Falls and Luna Island from Goat Island on the New York side. Rainbow Bridge in the background; Ontario side at left across the Niagara River. (Sept. 25, 2004) Photo by © 2004 Matthew Trump

Good morning, friend,

We showed up to basketball practice on Thursday. Normally, I try to bring a water bottle with my son. This time, I brought my water (nice) and we didn’t bring his bottle. I relied on the church having drinking fountains, that they had water. Strolled in to see signs all over the place NO WATER, BOIL ORDER, drinking fountains had garbage bags taped over them. Ugh. I had forgotten. A pipe had burst. Grayslake had no water. It was unnerving.

Yesterday, news reports flash:

Hundreds in W. Va. report exposure symptoms after crippling chemical spill

Which reports that 300,000 people are without water, they can’t boil it, touch it, be near it. It’s awful. It’s scary.  There is not an end in sight to this scare.  The pictures on the television show people scrambling for ice, bottled water, chemicals floating on the river…frightening images…

I was in ·trouble [distress], so I ·called [prayed] to the Lord. The Lord answered me and set me ·free [ I will not ·be afraid [fear], because the Lord is with me [Rom. 8:31]. ·People can’t do anything [L What can people do…?]to me [Heb. 13:6]. Psalm 118:5-6 EXB

 31 So what should we say ·about this [in response to these things]? If God is for us, ·no one can defeat us [L who is against us?]. 32 He did not spare his own Son but ·gave him [or delivered him over;C to death] for us all. So with Jesus, ·God will surely [how could he not…?] give us all things. Romans 8 EXB

Burst pipes, chemical spills can send us spiraling into fear and worry. It doesn’t even need to be something as severe as a spill or pipe, but friends, freedom is not found in focusing our attention on what is wrong in our lives and in the world around us.

I was in trouble…so I sat and stewed and worried and fretted and stayed up all night and had terrible heartburn.No…..

I was in trouble…so I called ( love this word here A primitive root [rather identical with קָרָא(H7122) through the idea of accosting a person met]) so literally the Psalmist is pestering the Lord! Not letting Him go. Lord! Lord! Lord! Does the Lord ignore His beloved? No, friend, He does not ignore His beloved! Whether it is a chemical spill or a basketball game or a pimple or a test or an argument with a friend, no matter what the reason, we call, He answers.

The Lord answered me and set me free.

The Lord answered me and set me free.

What if we enjoyed this day God gave us? What if we were not afraid of the day ahead? What if we believed what we read? Believe it, friend! Claim it! Live it!

Today is a new day. It is a good day.

Thankful for this day, it is my Mom’s birthday and I’m so thankful for her.

Thankful for this day, my kids’ first day of their basketball games, I think I’m more nervous than they are!

Thankful for a day with my husband today to enjoy time and space. We need a day!

Pray on. Pray on.

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Snow


winter landscape Photo by Chwalkowko

Good morning, friends,

Looking out my bedroom window this morning, I smile as I watch the birds fly from branch to branch tossing snow effortlessly to the ground.  A few of the little birds are perched close to our window, peering in. The day dawns bright and clear, have you noticed how snow helps the world seem clean and new? I know what lies under the snow in our yard (trust me, I have kids and a dog). Our dog is a stinker. She loves to sneak things out into the yard and sneak things in FROM the yard. *Sigh* . Luke is begging this morning for “snow cream”. I told him we would need to find VERY safe snow. VERY.

The cardinal is over by my window now and the color contrast!! I like to think that God gives us reminders in nature. What do you think?

Cardinal in snow Photo by Mike’s Birds

 6 You ·want me to be completely truthful [L desire truth/faithfulness in my inward parts],
·so teach me wisdom [L and secretly you make me know wisdom].
7 ·Take away my sin [L Remove my sin with hyssop; Ex. 12:22; C a plant used in purification rituals; Lev. 14:4649–51Num. 19:18], and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow [Is. 1:18].
8 Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness;
let the bones you crushed ·be happy [rejoice] again.
9 ·Turn [L Hide] your face from my sins
and ·wipe [blot] out all my guilt. Psalm 51 EXB

Snow is a lovely thing, as I said, it does cover the ugly, doesn’t it? But, it never stays covered, eventually, it melts. Eventually, if you drive by my house, you’ll see the toys, the shoe the dog dragged into the yard, etc. We like to cover up too, don’t we? Oh, I’m fine. I’m good. Yet, if we are completely truthful, all the way to the inward parts, we are not good. Wisdom calls us to call out and say, Lord, I’m not good! I’m struggling. I need YOU! And you know what, friend? He’ll answer! He’ll teach you wisdom.

The fake us that says, oh, I’m good, can only last for a certain amount of time before the facade will give way. We listen to the lie that it’s better to hide than to come clean! A lie from the pit of hell that we need not listen.

I love verse 7…Remove my sin with hyssop (have to include a picture, I had no idea!)

Za’atar growing in the herb garden of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, Jerusalem, Israel Photo by Gilabrand

 “Hyssop” was a small plant (see 1 Kgs 4:33) used to apply water (or blood) in purification rites (see Exod 12:22Lev 14:4-6, 49-52Num 19:6-18. The psalmist uses the language and imagery of such rites to describe spiritual cleansing through forgiveness. Notes by https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Psalms+51

David knew his cleansing could not be his own doing. He could not cleanse the sin. I will be clean. I shall be whiter than snow. This is said with confidence not found in himself. David knew his confidence rested solely in his God. And friends, we can learn so much from this confidence. This confidence was born out of pain. Take note.

It’s not about being strong, looking strong. He is LORD, LORD of all. He is your strength. He is your all. Oh, but us trying, attempting, looking a certain way..ya, that’s filthy rags to Him, the King of Kings…remember, He knows you are weak. Friend, He remembers we are dust, for heaven’s sake. What are we trying to do running from Him?? Mercy.

A few things I would like to share with you as we enter a new year…if you would like to add the discipline of reading/listening to the Bible in a year, I had never done this before this past year when I found the Daily Audio Bible.  Before I go to bed, I listen to Brian Hardin read portions of the Old and New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb each day. It’s been a great addition to my daily routine. I purchased the app for my phone for a buck and I love it.

I’ve finally had enough of the clutter and I’ve enjoyed this woman’s website and how she breaks down into 52 weeks. If that sounds overwhelming to you, then think how long it took you to get to where you are today. LOL. Home Storage Solutions 101

May God bless you this day. May you remember that you are loved, deeply and forever.

All this from snow…snow…

I digress.

 

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Whac-A-Mole


I start my morning with a slurper, well, two actually. One is already on his way to work. The other is memorizing the Foxtrot comic book resting on his lap. I begin to have a cognizant thought and slurp! And then, I am reminded of the many pages I follow on Facebook. The Mamas chronicling the one year anniversaries of losing their babies to cancer, fighting to keep their children from the grip of cancer or discovering their fight is just beginning. Slurp away, kid.

Sunset in Belo Horizonte Photo by Higor Douglas

Life is like that, isn’t it? We were meant to live this life in the present. To enjoy this gift, to peer out of the windows, see the sun shining through the trees and rather than just smile and close the blinds, run out with the dog and kids and join the chorus. Of course, it would require that my other children arise and join the rest of the open-eyed population.  I’ve been spending way too much time in my head lately, in regret, in the past, what I should have said. How I should have been.  And guess what I’ve done? I’ve smiled at the joy set before me (my family), closed the curtain and listened rather than run out and joined the chorus.

How often do we close the curtains in our own lives? How often have we briefly seen whatever the joy was the Lord set before us (the beauty of the day, the family, the friendships, life, whatever) and chosen to keep our focus solely on the stress? Has your neighbor’s dog bark finally crossed that line? Do your church’s music choices set your teeth on edge? Are there people at your church that you wish would worship elsewhere so you could finally have the church you want? Are your children not doing everything according to your gospel? Shall I continue? Did I mention yours? Fill in the blank ________. You tell the Lord. But I’m going to tell you, here’s what He says in Philippians 4:

4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you are on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

All those questions, those curtains they close the door on celebration. Celebration is open the doors wide.  Open your heart wide. As I type that, it’s hard. Down and dirty hard to do this with people…especially when people are not like you. When people don’t understand you and you don’t understand them, we forget. We forget that we aren’t here to be perfect, we are here to work together, harmoniously. Our love for one another doesn’t have to be constant time and attention but it can be a touch on the shoulder, a smile that reaches your eyes, knowing that love comes from the Father in heaven. You can’t love the difficult people on your own. You love them from Him. He is your love and His love pours through.

Romans 12: 11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

How do we burn out? How do we keep fueled and aflame? Most certainly not by working on our own strength or love. It all starts with Him. All of it. It stops when we… back to Philippians 4:

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

We have got to get to this point where we trigger an automatic response to worry. Right away. The worries begin and bam! we begin to pray. I’m not kidding. I keep thinking of that Whac-A-Mole game, right? You know the game? Sometimes, I feel like that’s my worries in my life. One crops up, bam! Another, bam! A child has no problem whacking a mole with all their might, why do I allow my “moles” to just hang out above the surface, grabbing some rays, checking out the hot moles in the other holes…You get my point.

What if today, I turn my back on the whole stupid game? And I let petitions and praises shape these moles into prayers and I just give ‘em over to my God? Then as I do this, I will begin to feel and know I am complete in Him, I will and am remembering that all comes together for good!

It’s wonderful, isn’t it, when Christ displaces worry in the center of our life?

Well, you’ll have to excuse me, I have a slurper and dog to take on a walk.

Pray on. Pray on.

Thankfuls

I’m thankful for the gorgeous sunrise.

I’m thankful for my Kimberlee who checks on me every morning to make sure I’m having my QT. I love you, girl.

I’m thankful for a new alarm clock that didn’t work today and we slept in.

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I’m baaaack..:)


Sunset at Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia Photo by JJ Harrision

Good morning, beloved,

The sun is rising this morning as it has done every morning of my life. It shines bright this morning as I begin. I may not see the sun every morning, as I rise, but I know, I know it is there.

Sun behind Clouds PHOTO by Quant

Psalm 113:

Praise the Lord!

Praise him, you servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
The Lord’s name ·should [is to] be ·praised[blessed]
now and forever.
The Lord’s name ·should [is to] be praised
from where the sun rises to where it sets.
The Lord is ·supreme [exalted] over all the nations [99:2];
his glory [C God’s manifest presence] ·reaches to the skies [is over the heavens].

Praise Him! Praise YHWH! I was talking about this idea of YHWH’s being like breath. To breath is to praise His name, which is very convicting to me that when I am in the midst of giving into temptation, I am breathing. My breath, my voice was meant to praise the One who gave it all. I am tempted to write with permanent marker on my hand:

Maybe a tattoo. The clouds would be challenging but to keep the truth of His name ever before me, I need it.

When am I to praise Him? Let’s look at this Psalm 

The Lord’s name should [is to] be ·praised[blessed] now and forever.

Praise Him now and forever. Check out the Hebrew here. The word is `owlam. 

I. long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world

  1. ancient time, long time (of past)

  2. (of future)

    1. for ever, always

    2. continuous existence, perpetual

    3. everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

You, me, all of us are meant to praise Him all. the. time. Doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of gray here. Oh, Lord, how little of my day is spent worshipping You. I confess. You know we think of confessing sin as big things: anger, lies, lust, you name it. Yet, if the Bible states unequivocally to praise Him always…

We were meant to NEVER get over Him. YHWH. Our LORD. We were never meant to leave Him in a box. Or at church. Or in our morning devotions. He is with us always. We were meant to praise Him all day.

Next question. Where is He to be praised?

The Lord’s name ·should [is to] be praised from where the sun rises to where it sets.

Is there anywhere on this planet that the sun is not? So it seems to me that all the world is meant to praise Him.  His.. his glory [C God’s manifest presence] ·reaches to the skies [is over the heavens].

Join me today. Join me in the song. Our God sings over us. Let us join Him and the angels in worship.

Reflect on His glory. His manifest presence.

My thankfuls today…

266. God’s mercy

267. Hymns and spiritual songs that keep me in worship

268. Help

Pray on. Pray ON! Worship on.

 

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Fill


Liverpool Waterfront at Sunrise – Dave Wood, Liverpool Pictorial

God, my heart is ·steady [steadfast; ready].
I will sing and ·praise [play a psalm for] you ·with all my being [L as will my soul/or glory].
Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
Lord, I will ·praise [thank] you among the ·nations [peoples];
I will sing ·songs of praise [psalms] about you to all the nations.
Your great ·love [loyalty] ·reaches to [is greater than] the ·skies [heavens],
your ·truth [faithfulness] to the heavens.
God, you are ·supreme [exalted] above the ·skies [heavens].
Let your glory [C manifest presence] be over all the earth [57:5–11]. Psalm 108 EXB

Awake ! One of the stanzas of A Morning Prayer by Thomas Ken stands out to me today.

Lord, I my vows to thee renew; disperse my sins as morning dew; guard my first springs of thought and will, and with thyself my spirit fill.

Fill.

[L But] We have this treasure ·from God, but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure [L in clay jars]. This shows that the ·great [extraordinary; transcendent] power is from God, not from us. We have ·troubles all around us [or all kinds of troubles/trials], but we are not ·defeated [crushed]. We ·do not know what to do [are perplexed/bewildered], but we do not ·give up the hope of living[despair]. 2 Corinthians 4 EXB

We cry out to be filled. And so much can fill us, but today? Today, let us choose to be filled with His Spirit.

Let us give thanks.

I will praise (thank) You!

Hang on to your hearts. I realized that my last two blog posts didn’t have my thankfuls..

249. A son captured by a book

250. A son worshipping upstairs

251. A daughter and son sleeping peacefully

252. My mom finishing my laundry

253. My dad being here, listening

254. Community in the church

255. Solutions

256. Good talks with family

257. Playing games last night

Fill, Lord, Fill us with You.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

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Worship. Worship. Worship!


NGC 2467 and Surroundings by ESO

Good morning, beloved!

How’s that for a statement? Exclamation point! Ha! Take that stress! I wake up in the knowledge that I am loved by Creator God who makes such stunning displays of beauty. He reigns.

I remember when this song came out, my kids would belt this song out and one day I asked them what it meant that He reigns. O, Mom, you know, it means we are so thankful that it “rains”.  The song  takes on some interesting new connotations…

My kids all have certain ways that they like to go to bed. We have routines. They don’t like falling asleep without them. As they get older, the need for a certain routine seems to fade but the younger ones need the stability. Love you, see you in the morning, have a good night, it’s going to be a good night…repeated by each of them (well, except for my eldest). Each need, I believe, the assurance that they are loved.

When my world is caving in, I need reassurances that no matter how much rain falls, my God reigns. He makes it rain. He made this world.

The Lord ·is king [reigns; 47:296:1097:198:699:1Rev. 19:6]. He is ·clothed [robed] in majesty.
The Lord is ·clothed [robed] in majesty
and ·armed [girded] with strength.
The world is ·set [established],
and it ·cannot be moved [will not totter].
Lord, your ·kingdom [L throne] was ·set up [established] long ago;
you are everlasting. Psalm 93 EXB

Tears may flow from my eyes from life’s messes but I know, I know, I declare that my God is faithful! He is Lord Almighty!

My Pandora mix today are all these songs. I think maybe my Lord wants to me remember this all. SO I’m sharing these songs because they are such good reminders. Remember, beloved. Nothing compares to His embrace. Light of the World He forever rains. (Just kidding..)

·Worship [Bow down to] the Lord ·because he is holy [L in the splendor of his holiness].
Tremble before him, everyone on earth.
10 Tell the nations, “The Lord ·is king [reigns; 47:293:197:198:699:1Rev. 19:6].”
The earth is ·set [established], and it cannot be moved. Psalm 96 EXB

Worship Him. Tell the world that our Lord is King.

There was a whole lotta hoopla about History Channel’s The Bible debut of Satan this week. That the man’s makeup is designed to make him look like Obama. Whatever. For my brain, remembering that our God’s power is triumphant. Are Satan’s tactics hard to cope with? Yes. God lifts us higher. Lifts you higher than your circumstances.

So my thankfuls today:

230. A beautiful bathroom painted by my lovely Mother..

231. A neighbor who brought me yummy slippers and workout pants.

232. What’s In the Bible with Buck Denver..what a gift.

Praying for our Pastors and their wives:

Pray that your pastor and his wife will practice servant leadership, edifying the congregation with wisdom and serving with God’s “agape” love. (Gal. 5:13b; Eph. 6:7; Mark 10:43b-45, 9:23-24; John 13:5-9; Phil. 2:3-4) (ROH)

God bless you today..pray on. Pray on.

 

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Awake


Dawn at Swifts Creek. Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Good morning, beloved,

How do you understand a peaceful, quiet, restful day when the day earlier was the antithesis? Grateful. I begin thinking what did I do differently? Questioning. Not sure, wondering. So I begin with…

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
thy daily stage of duty run;
shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
to pay thy morning sacrifice.

Lord, I my vows to thee renew;
disperse my sins as morning dew;
guard my first springs of thought and will,
and with thyself my spirit fill.

Five Vows for Spiritual Power by A.W. Tozer ( Powerful..please take some time)

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
all I design or do or say;
that all my powers, with all their might,
in thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host:
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

To praise: 2 express one’s respect and gratitude towards (a deity), especially in song:we praise God for past blessings (Oxford Dictionary)

My thankfuls today (what are yours?)

211. For my parents coming and helping us.

212. For dear friends’ blessings.

213. For loaves (notice plural) of bread in the freezer.

For our Pastors and their wives:

Ask God to protect your pastor from the evil plots of Satan. Pray that he will not be corrupted as he rubs shoulders with the world in the course of ministry. (John 17:15; Is. 54:17; 2 Cor. 2:11; 1 Pet. 3:12; Ps. 9:9-10, 91:9-11) (Revive Our Hearts)

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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A lighthouse on the islet of Keri, Estonia. Photo by Andrus Uuetalu

Good morning, beloved,

I was reminded of two prayers yesterday. After a day of much frustration and weeping with my children, grinding through a day that did not reflect all that He had shown me that morning. I sat numb after the kids went to AWANA. My children depend on routine and that was a fail yesterday. After shoveling, I thought it would be fun to make scones and try something new for breakfast. Fail.  It was not the routine. And we began a day of fighting and walls. Friends, it just was a pit day. I know you know what I mean.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps. Psalm 40 NKJV

Last night I was reminded. Do you remember me telling about Mike and Wendy Lambert? Well, they have been working hard to find people to support them so they can head to the mission field. They have been praying, hoping for God to open doors. And yesterday, God opened a door. Chris Fabry will be hosting them on his program today at 2pm CST! They will be given a chance to share their story. Will you join me in praying for them today? And the link on Chris Fabry will take you to his program today so you can listen either live or a recording. Join me won’t you?

God is always working. God is always fresh and moving and holy. Look at this first prayer with me.

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
thy daily stage of duty run;
shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
to pay thy morning sacrifice.

Lord, I my vows to thee renew;
disperse my sins as morning dew;
guard my first springs of thought and will,
and with thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
all I design or do or say;
that all my powers, with all their might,
in thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host:
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Thomas Ken

Declaring over this day.  Awake my soul! I my vows to thee renew. Guard my first springs of though and will. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! You are the one to be glorified with this day. As I get into the nitty gritty of this day, I remember You are directing this day. I do not begin this day in my own strength.

I heard Chris Fabry’s conversation with John Eldridge last night. He said he has been praying a simple prayer as he walks into a conversation, or phone call, or work. Jesus in me, Jesus, help me with this _____.

Jesus is with us. Jesus is in us. Here is the other prayer:

Ransomed Heart

 

Christ with me, Christ before me,Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me,Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left,Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,Christ when I stand,Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me.

 

It is a good morning.

 

 

My thankfuls:

 

208. New mornings

 

209. Danny finishing his memorizing of the 10 commandments

 

210. For wide open doors :)

 

Prayers for your pastor and his wife:

 

Friends I am going to be praying that part of the Breastplate prayer! Christ with me, Christ before me,Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me,Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left,Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,Christ when I stand,Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me.

 

Thank You, Lord, for a new day! Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Enter in…


European Bee-eater, Ariège, France. The female (in front) awaits the offering which the male will make. Photo by Pierre Dalous

Good morning, beloved,

I am not an organized person. At all. I admit this. I admit that I try to be organized. Try to keep things in one place with labels, label-makers…and yet, if there is a space cleared, somehow stuff gets on it. I have books everywhere. I have laundry. I have a dog who steals whatever she can, whatever she can get away with…ergo, I have dog toys, bones. As you know, I also have a husband and kids..so Legos invade my every crevice, doll shoes end up caught in my vacuum. I find gloves (I’ve begun to notice we always have the right handed…) I find socks (don’t even get me started…).

So life is messy around here. We live here. You can tell. However, my desire, my prayer is that our house would be a house that welcomes God. Welcomes His Spirit. We have, as I’ve mentioned before, a whole lot of sinners around here. The Psalm that I found this morning speaks of opening the temple gates to welcome the King of Glory in.

Remembering first that…

The earth belongs to the Lord, and ·everything in it [L its fullness]—
the world and all its ·people [inhabitants].
He ·built [founded] it on the waters
and ·set [established] it on the rivers [Gen. 1:9–10Is. 45:18]. Psalm 24 EXB

Beginning with the truth that this world is truly the Lord’s. As I walk, I want to remember, He called His creation good.

Then God said, “Let the water under the ·sky [heavens] be gathered together so the dry land will appear.” And it happened. 10 God ·named [called] the dry land “earth” and [L he called] the water that was gathered together “seas.” God saw that this was good. Genesis 1:9-10

18 The Lord created the heavens.
He is the God who formed the earth and made it.
He did not ·want [create] it to be ·empty [or formless; chaotic; Gen. 1:2],
but he ·wanted life on the earth [L formed it to be inhabited].
This is what the Lord says:
“I am the Lord. There is no other God. Isaiah 45:18

He wanted life. The Lord did not want empty, He wanted life. As I invite the Lord into my day, as we invite Him into our home today…

Who may go up on the mountain of the Lord [C Zion, the location of the Temple]?

From Ness Harim, looking towards Jerusalem in the winter. Photo by Hanan Cohen

Who may stand in his holy ·Temple [L place]?
Only those with clean hands and pure hearts [C innocent in actions and thoughts],
who have not ·worshiped idols [L lifted their souls to false things],
who have not made promises ·in the name of a false god [or deceitfully].
They will receive a blessing from the Lord;
the God who ·saves [rescues; T delivers] them will ·declare them right [vindicate them].
·They try to follow God [L This is the generation/people of those who seek him];
they ·look to the God of Jacob for help [L search for your face, O God of Jacob]. ·Selah[Interlude]

I cleanse my hands. I cleanse my heart. I know that Jesus’ blood is what saves me. God’s plan to rescue, deliver and vindicate us was a plan that included His Son paying the price for sin. Lord, I seek Your face this morning. Snow covers the trees, the ground, even the fences…

we have a lot of snow!

The Lord says,
“Come, let us ·talk about these things [reason together; or settle this matter; or consider your options].
Though your sins are like scarlet [C stained with blood; vv. 1521],
they can be as white as snow.
Though your sins are ·deep red [L red as crimson/purple],
they can be white like wool. Isaiah 1 EXB

I remember. I remember His grace. I love this picture of reasoning together, settling, considering with the Lord. This is a relationship. The Lord is waiting.

·Open up [L Lift up your heads], you gates.
·Open wide [L Be lifted up], you ·aged [ancient] doors
and the ·glorious King [King of glory] will come in.
Who is this ·glorious King [King of glory]?
The Lord, strong and mighty.
The Lord, ·the powerful warrior [mighty in battle].
·Open up [L Lift up your heads], you gates.
·Open wide [L Be lifted up], you ·aged [ancient] doors
and the ·glorious King [King of glory] will come in.
10 Who is this ·glorious King [King of glory]?
The Lord ·All-Powerful [of Heaven’s Armies/T Hosts]—
he is the ·glorious King [King of glory]. ·Selah [Interlude] Psalm 24 EXB

We lift up our heads. We open our doors. We ask You, King of glory, Lord of the Angel armies, please come in. Make our hearts your home.

My thankfuls today:

Three ugly/beautiful gifts (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):

196. Our yard went from muddy and soggy to light and beautiful with the snow!

197. Deep cleaned our laundry room..thankful for working machines.

198. Having the carpets cleaned last week…ahhh…

Prayers for Pastor:

Pray that he will earnestly seek God’s will and be committed to instant and complete obedience—ready for God to work powerfully in and through his ministry. (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 9:23-24)

Prayers for Pastor’s wife:

Pray that she will earnestly seek God’s will and be committed to instant and complete obedience—ready for God to work powerfully in and through her life and ministry.  (1 Sam. 15:22; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 9:23-24) Revive our Hearts

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

 

Categories: Cara thoughts..., Psalms | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Placing the day…


Winter Sunset in Pennsylvania Photo by SloMo2639

Good morning, beloved,

This morning found me awake earlier than usual. With coffee in hand, I begin my day with the Lord. I place my day in His hands.

22 The stone that the builders rejected
became the chief cornerstone [Luke 20:17Acts 4:11Eph. 2:201 Pet. 2:7].
23 ·The Lord did this [L This is from the Lord],
and it is wonderful ·to us [L in our eyes; Matt. 21:42Mark 12:10–11].
24 This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad ·today [L in it]! Psalm 118 EXB

I look over my yesterday and ask Him to teach me. I look to my tomorrow and remember, grace. Grace for yesterday, grace for today, grace for tomorrow, so thankful for His grace. Why is life so calm in the garden?  Walking with Him, talking with Him, it’s so peaceful. and then I have to jump into my life. My life feels a little like a snowball at the top of the mountain and by the end of the day, a huge ball. I’ve said things, done things, I regret.

So I truly believe that His Spirit resides in me. So why is it so hard to live out that in front of my family?

I hear myself. I hear the fear. Do you hear it? Do you ever approach a day wondering if, in your time of prayer, what you prayed will bear fruit?

I ·look up [L raise my eyes] to the hills [C the hills surrounding Zion, the location of the Temple],

Sunrise over the Jerusalem hills. Photo by Super Jew

 but where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth [Gen. 1].Psalm 121  EXB

He is the One who helps. He is the One who made it all. So as I begin the day, I lift my eyes. I bring my day before my God, my Helper. I am not ever going to attain perfection this side of heaven, but God promises He will help. He will come.

He will not let ·you be defeated [L your feet be moved/slip].
    He who ·guards [watches] you never sleeps.
He who ·guards [watches] Israel
    never ·rests [sleeps] or ·sleeps [slumbers].

We will not be defeated by the enemy. Our feet will not move or slip. We have the Divine Guardian. He never dozes. He never takes a nap with His favorite afghan. He guards us, He guards Israel always. Promises that we can stand upon.

Western Moon setting over Mountains, High Desert, California by Jessie Eastland aka Robert DeMeo

The Lord ·guards [watches] you.
    The Lord is the shade ·that protects you from the sun [L at your hand, your right hand; 91:1].
The sun cannot ·hurt [L strike] you during the day,
    and the moon cannot ·hurt [L strike] you at night.

So friends, we live with the promise. The Lord is watching, He is the shade. I’m so thankful that God gives us pictures in His word. He is our shade. He is covering us from the sun. He is at our hand. So, as I begin my day, breathing in, breathing out. I am realizing I think tooooooo much. It is so good to remember. SO good to ponder. And duh, where are my note cards during the day with His Word scribbled? Yes, I stopped doing that, and I am going to work on that as soon as I finish.

What disciplines do you have in place that help YOU to remember? A lit candle? Music in the background? We battle. I battle. When I have these different “triggers”, I can look all over and recall.

 

The Lord will ·protect [guard; watch] you from all ·dangers [trouble; evil];
    he will ·guard [watch] your life.
The Lord will ·guard [watch] you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

We are in His sweet care. We are protected. Five times, in this Psalm, we find the Hebrew word, shamarto guard, to protect. We know. We can trust. Faith. Faith that He will be there always.

Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare:

A gift on a paper, in a person, in a picture:

154. My kids’ pictures, writings, drawings…priceless.

155. Staying in touch with friends, near and far.

156. Seeing pictures of family vacations, delight and relaxation. Remembering…

So, friends, we have a choice. We can grab hold of what we know to be true. Place different triggers around the house, verses, candles, songs. As our world gets more complicated as the day goes by, we can stop, take a breath and remember. I’m game, how about you? :)

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, Pictures from commons..., Psalms, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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