Friday, February 27, 2009
Feb 26--I have memorized the first two verses. I need to let this Psalm go deep into my soul.
In verse two it says out of the mouth of babies and infants...
God uses us even when we are weak and when we believe we do not know anything. When we praise God and lift Him high above all other things on earth He is glorified. His strength is revealed. He makes room through praise, for us to grow, and show forth His power.
Prayer: God you are good. Your ways are perfect bringing wholeness to the heart, mind, soul, and body. Only you are worthy to receive praise. Your name is Majestic and Holy throughout the whole earth.
God silence all of your enemies who roar like lions in the minds of people. Arise silencing all that arises above you within my own life. For those areas where the enemy of my soul comes in to kill goodness, reveal to me how to turn to you, letting go, and praise You with all of my heart.
Three divisions in this Psalm.
1. God's name is powerful and is able to pull down all strongholds the enemy tries to bring upon a soul. vs 1-2
2. Realizing humanities place in created order. God loves people, and has placed us in authority over His creation. vs 3-8
3. The Psalmist closes this Psalm praising God. vs 9
A thought I agree with from the Live Simply Website: Words of Wisdom at the beginning of Lent(25 Feb 2009) :
We know we are beginning to live sustainably when we acknowledge, mention and delight in the love of those who sustain us; when we commit ourselves long term to others or another; when we give ourselves to our fundamental purpose in life.
We live sustainably when we value what we have and need, not what others want to sell us. We recycle what is not needed, we do not recycle the relationships and commitments that underpin our very existence.
We know we live sustainably when we find ourselves increasingly sad about the destruction of the created world that has been given to us as a gift by God.
I know geeky. It was a heart gift from my husband who knows me well. I am a practical kind of girl who loves God's word. I have really enjoyed this Bible, the bonus is the on-line access. There is a place to write notes, highlight passages, and listen to the passage being read. One thing I do not like is listening to someone read without background music. I found I can put on soft relaxation music as the scriptures are being read.
My young adult children have taken my MP3 player, meaning I am looking to purchase one so I can download verses to memorize. Today is our anniversary and this could be yet another practical gift from the heart! Hint, hint! (Not that my husband reads my blog.) Oh, well good idea. I should buy him one. Not!
If you would like to listen to the on-line version (not the same as the Study Bible) here is the ESV link.
It is amazing to listen to background music on the computer as the Bible is being read. A great way to memorize and connect the mind, body, soul, and spirit to God's heart. For now I will listen at my desk.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Best Prayer—By Julian of Norwich
The best prayer is to rest in the goodness of God, knowing that that goodness can reach down to our lowest depths of need.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a
I am going to linger in God’s presence over the next four days taking the time to watch the goldfinches as Mary Oliver reminds us in her poem, “Invitation.” God is always inviting us to come, to rest, and follow Him even in the midst of our ever-increasing busy lives. My problem is I love all that life has to offer, but I must remember I can not embrace it all. The answer I received to simply “pray” was not what I expected, but I know God desires me to come and wait upon Him.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, all the thoughts and devotionals I read all referred back to realign yourself with God. Lent is a period of time we can set aside, not just to give up something, but also to ask God to bring a change of heart. Yes, prayer, confession of sins, giving thanks, and fasting are all part of the journey but they are to bring change of heart not to show how religious we are. The question I am asking today is what is oppressing me and what do I do that oppresses others.
My desire for the next four days and for the entire journey through Lent (40 days) and Easter is that God will awaken all of me (mind, body, heart, and soul) to have a deeper and closer walk with Him. That He will cleanse me and purify me from all the oppressing things that keep me at a distance, and bring wholeness by saving me from myself!
A dear friend sent me this poem yesterday by Whittler (I do not have a title or date) it is worth reading through, reflecting upon Christ and asking the Holy Spirit to guide.
He walked by faith and not by sight,
By love and not by law;
The presence of the wrong or right
He rather felt than saw.
And, pausing not for doubtful choice,
Of evils great or small,
He listened to that inner voice
Which called away from all.
O Spirit of that early day,
So pure and strong and true,
Be with us in the narrow way
Our faithful fathers knew.
Give strength the evil to forsake,
The cross of truth to bear,
And love and reverent fear to make
Our daily lives a prayer.
Blessings to all who read my thoughts concerning my journey, and I pray God’s grace upon you as you travel closer to God’s heart. I am grateful God has given my body the ability to cry out, my soul and heart grace to stop and wait, and my mind the wisdom to listen.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Oh do you have time
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude—
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.
From Red Bird: Poems by Mary Oliver, published by Beacon Press, 2008
Sunday, February 22, 2009
This video touches the very depths of my soul, it is profoundly present in my everyday experiences as I minister among the elderly and sick. It breaks my heart to visit with many who no longer live in their own homes and who have given up what was once held dear. My prayer is through their pain and loss they will come to know Christ.
Jesus is our hope and this world is not our home.
"Be still and know I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
God is good.
The words of C.S. Lewis underline one further important point:
"The psalms are poems, and poems intended to be sung: not doctrinal treatises, nor even sermons...They must be read as poems if they are to be understood...Otherwise we shall miss what is in them and think we see what is not." Pg. 360.
Both Psalm 8 and 23 lead my heart and soul into a place of singing praises to my God and my Father.
O Lord, Our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. Psalm 8:1
Zondervan's Bible handbook is great for admiring and reflecting on the pictures and finding out valuable insights on scripture text.
February on the Prairies is a month (for me and others) that awakens the longing within for spring. Long cold days of winter can cause a persons soul to become exhausted and weary longing for the warmth of the sun to permeate through deadness, bringing rejuvenation to the bones.
After church my husband surprised me by taking me out for lunch, then we went and sat in the civic conservatory. The moment I entered the conservatory my soul came alive. The Daffodils, and Tulips were in full bloom and music filled the air. A young man was playing his banjo, creating an atmosphere of delight, wonder, and healing. The wonderful bright sunny colours and warm smells captured a part of me, which was falling asleep or entering the s.a.d.s (seasonal affective disorder.)
In the month of February at the conservatory you will find Kalanchoe, Primula Malicoides, Daffodils, Tulips, and Muscari in full bloom. The conservatory was fully alive with new growth and colour! The bonus: It was warm and humid.
For those of us who live in the northern climates it is vital to find places to renew and rejuvenate your soul. No wonder many seek refuge in the south during the winter months. But for those of us who can not get away, this is a good solution. I personally long for the day I can walk out doors enjoying the world around me without the worry of slipping on ice.
Our walk through the art gallery was completely another experience. What some consider art is amazing. I guess through this experience my husband and I received a bit of art culture as a gift. In closing did you know that the daffodil is considered a symbol of hope.
Matthew 12:21--"In his name the nations will put their hope."
Jesus is the everlasting hope for the Nations.
Today is totally a day of resting in Christ. Within this space of rest there will be time spent loving family and friends, time soaking in God's word, mixed with reflection and mediation. Embracing God's goodness through all He has given to me is my aim. This song is addicting...I love you Jesus.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I truly believe I need to get God's word deep into my soul, memorization is at the top of my list of priorities each day.
Tim Challies over at Challies.com invited those who view his blog to join in memorizing with him. He writes that his first intention was to have thirty people join him, now he has over 1100. If you let Tim know you are going to memorize he will send you a note of encouragement and on Sundays he sends out a reminder of what the group is memorizing.
With the help of Youtube I can listen to soft music and memorize Psalm 8.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I wanted to post the proverb that stood out for me today:
Vs 17 "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done."
Vs 21 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
Well, lets see what happens on Facebook!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I have been redoing my space and I am still discontented with a few aspects of this skin. I need to learn more about HTML and build my own blog. However, I do like the bittersweet chocolate color.
I need to go and read for the rest of the night, no more blogging.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
In my inbox there was a devotional for Romans 12 titled: Romans 12 Employee Handbook. It is worth reading through.
The two points that stood out for me were:
7. Practice hospitality. (13b)
9. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (15)
(Think of every day as the office Christmas party, and you're the host. How would your workday be different if you worked hard to make sure everyone was comfortable, well-fed, and having a good time?)
(Be so sensitive to your coworkers that you are attuned to their life events. Simply attending the birthday cake cutting in the conference room doesn't count.)
Confession: I only work 20 hours a week and taking time to join in office events usually are not top priority. I need to work on making time to listen and be more hospitable. I just noticed something: Hospital is the main word in hospitality. Being hospitable will and does bring care and healing into relationships.
Wow! Two words global and mobile are definitely part of our world today. What does it all mean? And how did we find answers to our questions before google?