Archive | September 2015

Psalm 36

The wicked person doesn’t fear God.  The wicked person doesn’t even really see God.  There is so much self in the wicked person’s eyes that he doesn’t see his sin.

God is everywhere – the skies, the mountains, the ocean.  Class distinction isn’t in God’s vocabulary – all are welcome to find love and refuge.

Continue Your love and righteousness to me.

Your mercy reaches to the heavens and the flooded streets.  Your faithfulness to the skies and the ditches (there were heavy rains and flash flooding that morning, but God got me through!)

God saves peoples and animals (so we’ll see our pets in heaven)

We take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  Just like the evening when a powerful storm came through downtown Chicago and I ducked into an alcove out of the wind and the rain.

There are rich foods in Your house (we’ll eat in heaven).  We will drink from the river of Your pleasure (the river of life in heaven.  We’ll be so overwhelmed when we realize how pleased You are with us).

The fountain of life is Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  In Your light (Jesus the light of the world) we see light.

I know You, therefore You show Your mercy to me.  My motives are decent, therefore You show and share the righteousness of Christ with me.

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Psalm 35

David asks God to fight those who are fighting him.  Part of perfect fellowship.  What I do, God does.  Otherwise I am totally inadequate.  David pictures God as wearing armor just as he does.  God works and defends through human means, through human tools.

God will hinder those who plot evil.  One day their evil schemes will ensnare themselves.  But it will be God’s doing.  It cannot be ours.

David did good to his friends and neighbors.  However it went unappreciated.  In fact, as soon as they had a chance to reciprocate, they did what they could not to help, but to push him down even further.  Therefore, it is our job and purpose to help when and where we can, but to expect nothing in return.  And when we need help, we must look to God alone.

My tongue will speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all day long.

Psalm 34

Praise the Lord no matter what happens – good, bad, or indifferent.

I’m discouraged and afflicted – God’s word to me:  “Take heart”

I sought the Lord; He answered, He delivered.  But it starts with me – I have to seek the Lord.

If I look to God, my face will shine with His glory and I will have nothing to be ashamed of.

This poor woman called, and the Lord heard her, He saved her out of all her troubles.  Hear us Abba.  Save us.  Show us how to live.

God’s angel is always with me.

Close your eyes, open your mouth and stick out your tongue.  Open your eyes and taste and see that the Lord is good.  Take refuge.

Honor the Lord and you will lack nothing.  In God is everything needed for life (and death) and you won’t even notice what earthly goods you don’t have because God will fulfill you.

If you want to live a long life, control your tongue, turn from evil, do good, seek peace, and pursue peace.

God is keeping an eye on me.  God is listening for my cry.  He is against those who do evil.  Eventually no one will ever remember.  They won’t have done anything good worth remembering, and by then people won’t be carrying grudges.

When I cry out, God hears me and delivers me – if I am righteous.  I may have many troubles but God takes care of all of them.  The more troubles, the closer God is.

Evil will be defeated.  If I am God’s servant, I will be redeemed.  I will be safe if I take refuge in God.  I have to live in God and with God – in very close quarters.

The Parable of the Chipmunk Stash

I have a mature chestnut tree in my back yard and spent some time Saturday morning collecting the pristine nuts in a basket.  They’re not very edible, but they’re very decorative.  Then I moved on to the flower bed.

Since spring, the chipmunk has been digging in the flower bed right outside the back door.  I have tried all year to discourage it.  I’ve filled in the hole alongside the house.  I’ve sprinkled and sprayed repellants.  I put three bricks and a landscaping border stone over the holes.  All to no avail.

The phone company came out to bury a cable and disturbed the little flower bed.  With half the flowers gone, I cleaned up the bed and smoothed out the dirt – most of it having been rearranged by the chipmunk.  I dusted off the bricks and moved them so I could replace them after I filled in the hole.  There, in the chipmunk’s hole, under the bricks and against the foundation, was a stash of chestnuts, more pristine than the ones I had just gathered!

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I admit, my first thought was to clear out the stash and add them to my basket, but it didn’t have the heart to ruin all the chipmunk’s hard work.  The results of the chipmunk’s labor that I had previously seen as a nuisance was actually a beautiful treasure chest.

Life is full of circumstances and people we consider nuisances, but if we dig deeper, God has a treasure chest to share with us.  There are so many things He longs to teach us, so many blessings He wants to give us, but we have to look beyond the nuisance and we have to dig for them.