holidays

Psalms Pieces

There are so many beautiful Psalms in the Bible.  Do you have a favorite?  Do you know the significance of this book?  One man struggles in his faith, wanting to surrender and know God on a deeper level.  He sings praises to God with a longing heart.  It is not always an easy book of the Bible to understand, there is as – I used to complain about when younger:  “a lot of thee’s and tho’s.”  🙂

As we continue into the Holy days; Good Friday and Passover, Palm Sunday and Easter, let us yearn for God the same way David did.

(I am referring to the Living Bible, as I appreciate the stillness of the language.)

Psalm 19 The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God. 3-4 Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race! The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.

7-8 God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light. God’s laws are pure, eternal, just. 10 They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. 11 For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them.

12 But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime.

14 May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

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Psalm 138 Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels.  I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.  When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

Every king in all the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for all of them shall hear your voice. Yes, they shall sing about Jehovah’s glorious ways, for his glory is very great. Yet though he is so great, he respects the humble, but proud men must keep their distance. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your loving-kindness, Lord, continues forever. Don’t abandon me—for you made me.

 

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Pieces of Grace

Grace is the foundation of our faith and daily strength.  What then, does it mean to “live in grace”?

For me, it is to be like-minded with Christ, to want what He wants for me, not the other way around.  It’s so easy for us to let time slip, days pass without opening our Bible, reading something encouraging, sharing with our Heavenly Father, the hopes and fears we have.  Something draws us back, and I believe it the work of the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps you’ve gone stagnant, still a believer, grounded in your faith, attending church regularly and bible study, but maybe your light has disappeared. That “still small voice” that guides our comings and goings.  That voice that is your Father

It’s easy to get back in touch, whether your distance has been a few weeks, or perhaps many years.  Jesus is always here for us.  He wants to reconnect, no matter how long its been.  He nudges softly, reminding us that He never left, it was us who stepped further and further away.

Your conversation doesn’t have to be complicated.  Ask God for what you need, be mindful that you are the presence of the Holiest One.  And He wants you back in the fold.  He has missed you.  Let Him provide the grace necessary to live in His word.

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What we know about the baby Jesus

Historically, everything we need to know is in the Bible or has been picked apart by scholars through the many centuries.

Why we need to know for our own personal reasons, is that it’s how we began to love our Savior.  It starts at His birth.  It follows Him for 33 years, we can expect relateness, because Jesus; unlike His Father; was a human being.  Like us.

This little baby brought LIFE to sinners, then and now.  His precious birth, surrounded by the same type of mayhem our world is suffering from, was His start to life.

For an more indepth study, check out this link by Crosswalk.

May your celebrations surrounding the birth of our Savior, Great One, The Great I Am, Mighty, Magnificent, Prince of Peace, Father, Holy Spirit, Redeemer, Emmanuel, Jehovah, Comforter, Almighty, Son of God, The Beginning and the End, Messiah, Lamb of God, Shepherd, The Vine, Carpenter, Beloved, Deliverer, Lord of Lords, King of the Jews, Risen Lord, Healer, Tree of Life, Light of the World, Bread of Life, The Word, Friend, Protector, be filled with light, grace, guidance, forgiveness and love.  He is all of this to a sorrowful world.

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Pieces of Logic

What do you know logically, that doesn’t make sense spiritually?  Or vice versa.

I think of faith; like wind – you can’t see it, but you CAN feel it. 

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The word “sense” is as close to “logic” ‘as I can find in the bible and it’s a stretch!

  • Nehemiah 8:8
    They read from the book, from the Law of God, with interpretation, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
  • Hebrews 11:19
    He reasoned that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he indeed received him in a figurative sense.

 

Image result for what do you know logically?And sometimes life is just atypical!

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Pieces of Loss

There are many variations of loss.  Of life, love, a health diagnosis, home, job, and whatever it is, is the most important thing to you at the time.  No one could possibly understand, even if they can relate – it’s not the same.  Sometimes we don’t want empathy as much as we want someone to listen.  We want someone to put up with our bad days — the days when we feel deeply alone in our grief.

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In time of grief that is so incredibly overwhelming, where do you go for peace? 

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Jeremiah 31:3
The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
John 13:34
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
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Pieces of Thanksgiving

While exploring the various celebrations of Thanksgiving in the U.S., I discovered I didn’t know actual facts.  If you are interested in the true meaning, read on:  Why we celebrate Thanksgiving

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Tomorrow many people will sit down with family and friends and share in the gifts of food, laughter and conversation.  Some are serving our country, working in public service, or it’s just their regularly scheduled shift and will have a warmed up plate at home.

Whatever and wherever you find yourself, the gift (meaning) of thanksgiving is much more than pumpkin pie and turkey.  The word “thanksgiving” is used 29 times in the bible, and over 156 times in conjunction with other words: “thankful” “thankfulness,” etc.

Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

May this prayer be yours:

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Pieces of Peace

I held off and didn’t post this right away; to see if the world would calm down in the aftermath of the U.S. election for President.  I do think on social media, 1/2 of the people are still searching to answers “why” and the other 1/2 have gotten back to work, home, their daily life.   I fall into the latter camp.

Back in biblical times I imagine there were similar elections, their rulers and kings holding the highest office in the world, being voted in – or perhaps there was just a lot of mayhem and then someone said I AM KING.

And then there is this 8 year old kid!

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Our voting process is probably MUCH more civil than in biblical times.  So if that helps with your angst, yay!!

Genesis 31:44 Come now and we will sign a peace pact, you and I, and will live by its terms.
Romans 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
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Pieces of Poetry

Often quoted, but rarely interviewed, Mary Oliver is one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She’s just released a new volume, Felicity, at the age of 80. And so we’re revisiting the interview she granted us earlier this year on the wisdom of the world, the salvation of poetry, and the life behind her writing.  (the interview link)

I was more moved by phrase: “the salvation of poetry” than by the entire article!  It spoke to me on a very spiritual level.

The Psalms, Song of Solomon, even Proverbs are similarly — pieces of poetry scattered throughout the bible.

There are very few actual verses relating to the word “poetry” but I did find one that was appropriate (the other was on the act of war).  Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and are! As one of your own poets says it, ‘We are the sons of God.’

Psalm 95:2 Come before him with thankful hearts. Let us sing him psalms of praise.
Ephesians 5:19 Talk with each other much about the Lord, quoting psalms and hymns and singing sacred songs, making music in your hearts to the Lord.

 

 

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Pieces of Contentment

Are we ever really content?  Do we go from one thing to the next?  Is our calendar perpetually filled? Do we believe that tomorrow will be better instead of focusing on what is good today?

Psalm 39:5-6  My life is no longer than my hand! My whole lifetime is but a moment to you. Proud man! Frail as breath! A shadow! And all his busy rushing ends in nothing. He heaps up riches for someone else to spend.
Psalm 17:15 But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face-to-face.
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Pieces of Childhood

If you grew up in a family that attended church every Sunday, you will recall in your childhood, having to memorize bible verses.  Granted, they start you out with very short sentences when you are small, but by the time junior high rolls around, you are memorizing paragraphs plus having to remember all the verses you’ve already memorized.

Now at age 51, I realize that my memory is pretty much shot and were it not for the scraps of paper I keep, I wouldn’t know any bible verses!

Zechariah 1:5-6  Your fathers and their prophets are now long dead, but remember the lesson they learned, that God’s Word endures!
Hebrews 5:14 You will never be able to eat solid spiritual food and understand the deeper things of God’s Word until you become better Christians and learn right from wrong by practicing doing right.
We can adhere to God’s word without having to memorize scripture, but it sure comes in handy in times of need.