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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Lots of verses that stood out to me…here is a highlight with short reflections:

“I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” -Psalm 31:7

-I often am overwhelmed by my feelings and can’t even understand or express them to myself or anyone else, and yet, God knows every intricacy of my pain and confusion.  Crazy.

“Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends— those who see me on the street flee from me.” -Psalm 31:11

-I see this on the streets everyday.  People rushing to work, busy shopping, or simply strolling; they see the homeless and turn in the other direction.  Put yourself in their shoes.  What would it feel like to be a ‘leper’?

“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD “—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah”   -Psalm 32:5

-When’s the last time we really got down and confessed….really poured our heart out?  It’s been a while for me.  I may small confessions throughout the days, but haven’t really sat down lately (or bowed down) to acknowledge my sin….to really dwell on how messed up I am without Christ.

“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”   -Psalm 32:9

-I often think, life would be much easier if God just directed and controlled our steps, but then we would have no understanding.  Life isn’t easier, but it’s a lot more loving this way.

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.” -Psalm 34:10

Nothing.  I used to think that in Christ, we lack nothing, but that’s not true.  This verse is a reminder that we lack no-good– thing.  We may lack other things, but they are not even worth having.

“A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”  -Psalm 34:19

-All of them.  The LORD delivers us from them all.  Dang.

“Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.'” -Psalm 35:3

-This is tattoo worthy.  I pray this for all of us.  Father, speak to our souls and breathe, “I am your salvation.”

Sometimes you need to just read your bible and prayer. I recently dealt with a difficult situation that I thought was going to leave me crippled (emotionally not physically). I prayed. I prayed harder. I prayed until I fell asleep each night. I read His Word. Minutes after reading Psalm 29:11 “The LORD gives strength to His people, the LORD blesses His people with peace,” I received a phone call that gave me peace and comfort. I have been questioned in the past when forced to make difficult decisions. I tell people that once I make a decision, I receive a primal peace from God. That’s how I know I am walking in His will. If I toss and turn all night over it, I re-examine it the next day. That simple (for me).

I also really enjoyed Psalm 34:2 “My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.” God is telling us that those in pain should not whine, cry, search for pity; but that they should REJOICE! I need to adopt this attitude daily. Enough with the woe is me mentality.

I was just scanning the readings this week figuring out what to blog about when I saw Psalm 34:8.  “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”  I want to focus on the first part of the first.  Its the fact that David tells us to TASTE and SEE God.  Throughout the Bible, we are told to use each of our senses to hear God.  We are told to listen, like when Elijah heard God on a whisper.  We are told to see God through his works and his son Jesus.  We are told to taste God which is through taking the bread and wine during communion.  Jesus’ disciples felt him when he rose from the dead.  I’ve got nothing from the Bible on smell haha, but I know we can praise God by cherishing the sweet smells of the flowers he created.  We need to use our senses for good, which are too often used for bad things.  This is especially true with sight and touch.  Praise God.

Oops. I forgot to blog last Sunday so I’m hitting it twice this weekend.

Three Verses. One Message.

Psalm 17:1b “Give ear to my prayer – it does not rise from deceitful lips.

Psalm 18:23-24 “I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness.”

Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight.”

Listen, God judges accordingly which means that he sees through our deceit and lies to others and ourselves. He knows us. He knows where my heart is when I’m praying and when I’m interacting with others. He sees the real me even when I don’t. My prayer is to see myself the way God does, take a good look and correct the deficiencies.

Cheers.

Repeatedly, the psalmist says “show me your ways (ps. 25:4); confide in those who fear him (ps. 25:14); and hear my voice (ps. 27:7). He and I both want God to hear us. We both want to be his apprentice which means following his every step, hanging on his every word, being covered in the dust of his sandals (I read Rob Bell too). How cool would it be to be in that close of communion with God. This blog continues to prod  me in that direction. God, The Word, and the fellowship…A great story of human frailty and heroism.

PSALM 22-28

“Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.” -Psalm 25:8

Brennan Manning once said, “The Church is not  a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners.”

Another wise man by the name of Jesus similarly said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” -Matthew 9:12

This verse in Psalm 25 encouraged me a lot.  God does not ask us to have it all together and then come to him.  Simple, yet profound.  What other god is like this?  Answer: None.  In the book of John he calls Him, ‘God the One and Only’.

May we swim freely today as we remember the grace of our Father, the One and Only, who loves us and instructs us, even as sinners.

I like and don’t like Psalm 15. I like it because it’s a nice list of what a righteous man of God should look like. I don’t like because I’m not that righteous man.

It’s super hard for us to do these things, because so often they’ve been done to us. If we are to treat others like we want to be treated, then some people want to slandered and wronged and bribed and despised. Right?

I so wish that four year romantic relationship I had with that Sallie Mae character came without usury. (don’t worry. I had to look it up too. It means interest.) Gosh. Still paying alimony on that one.

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”  -Psalm 16:6

How many of us can say this?  I can, but only at times when I feel close to God.  It is when I feel far away that the boundaries seem too confined.  God’s bounty that is so plentiful, seems like pocket change to the sinful desires of my heart.

Whenever I sin, it’s because I think what God is asking of me is not going to satisfy me and I need to claim other things for myself.  We all do it.  We push the lines.  Whether it be with that cute girl at work that we fantasize about, arguing with our parents, freaking out about money, taking the credit for ourselves.  The list goes on.

Aaron Henning always spoke about the fenced in pasture that God has allowed us to graze in.  Everything in the pasture is kid-tested, God-approved.  He allows us the freedom to roam anywhere, because he has deemed it all good.  The grass never runs out, no matter how hungry us sheep may get.

But just like some obese people have pituitary problems where their stomachs are completely full but their brains don’t recognize the satiation; our sin is the pituitary problem in our spiritual lives.  We have more than enough to eat (my cup runeth over), and yet, we think we need more.

May God open our eyes to how beautifully small his pasture is.

Psalm 18….and done.

That chapter, in my opinion, is the ultimate praise song ever created to praise the glory of the Lord.  At this point in David’s life, he is being hunted by all of the kings men and even the king himself.  That’s like having the Feds after you.  What a scary thought.  And yet, he’s not cursing God for bringing this situation down upon him and for causing David to go into hiding.  No.  David is rejoicing in the fact that he is still alive and can do God’s work.  God has delivered him from his enemies.  There have been so many situations where I have been put through a tough time (usually small and stupid times) and I have been upset at God for creating such an outcome.  It seems I only praise Him when something goes right in my life.  We need to take Davids lead and also the men like Job and Daniel, who have been looking into the face of death and have praised God for the life he has given them.  It’s a self explanatory chapter but I feel we need to be reminded of this.  Praise God!

Psalm 13:5-6 “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”

This passage comes right after David is crying to God, asking Him if He’s forgotten about David.  David’s pleading for an answer from God from the bottom of his soul.  He’s giving everything he has to get an answer.  But then David, after all this still trusts in God’s unfailing love.  A love that will never abandon us, but only we can abandon.

Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’  They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”

I’m not fully sure if the last part of that verse is referring to the corrupt who do not believe, but it just made me think about what i heard at church yesterday.  A lot of religions are based on the theory that good deeds will get you saved.  As my pastor put it, if he were writing the rules, letting someone in front of you in traffic would get you bonus points.  However, my pastor continued by saying he does not write the rules, God does.  It doesn’t matter how many good deeds we accomplish in our lifetime.  Without our trust and belief in God’s redeeming grace, there is no salvation.  It’s a shame when I know good people who I know aren’t saved, and merely hope that their good deeds will in fact get them salvation.  Don’t let these opportunities slip by fellas.