Archive | June 2017

Psalm 109

I praise You – I don’t remain quiet.
Wicked men speak against me – they speak lies, hatred, accusations.
I am a person of prayer. They repay me evil for good, hatred for friendship, betrayal for love.

Appoint an evil man for the evil man. Send him an accuser, find him guilty, let his prayers condemn him. His days will be few, someone else will take over leadership. His children will be fatherless and wandering beggars. A creditor will seize all he owns and strangers will enjoy the fruits of his labor. No one will have pity or mercy. The family name will be blotted out. God will never forgive him. He never thought of doing a kind deed, but hounded the poor to death. May the curse he put on others return to him.

Deal well with me. Deliver me.
I am poor, needy, wounded, fading away, scorned.
Help me, save me.
Men may curse, but God will bless.
I will extol God and praise Him for He stands at the right hand of the needy one and saves his life from those who condemn him.

I remember finding this psalm when I was recovering from my divorce. Every time I came across it, I would pray it with venom in my voice. But the more I allowed God to heal me and the more I forgave, the less venom and the more pity accompanied my prayer.

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Psalm 108

My heart is steadfast. Unwavering. Loyal to You.
I will sing and make music and put everything into it.
I will awaken the dawn with my music.
I will praise You among all nations.
Your love is great – higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted – praised and lifted up – above the heavens.
Let Your glory and perfection be over all the earth.

Save us, help us, deliver us.
The earth and all its countries belong to God.
With God our armies will conquer.

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord because He is good.
Give thanks to the Lord because His love endures forever.
I am a redeemed of the Lord – redeemed from my foes.
Some were homeless. They cried – He gave them a home.
Some were prisoners in punishment. They cried – He forgave them and set them free.
Some rebelled away from God. They cried – He healed them.
Some were at sea. They cried – He stilled the storm.
He curses and punishes the wicked.
He blesses and rewards the upright.

Psalm 106

Praise the Lord. Tell Him how good He is.
Give thanks to the Lord because He is good, because His love endures forever.
Endures. In spite of our inconsistencies, in spite of the hurt we cause Him, His love endures.
No one can fully declare His praise because no one fully knows Him.

Blessed are they who try to know You, who maintain justice and constantly try to do what is right – Your will.
Remember me when You show favor to Your people, come to my aid too, save me too, let me enjoy the prosperity of Your chosen ones, let me share in the joy of Your nation, let me join Your inheritance by praising You.

We have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly.
We have taken Your miracles for granted.
We have taken Your kindness for granted.
We have rebelled.

You have saved us for Your name’s sake, to make Your powers known.
You have dried up the Red Seas that try to overwhelm us – the seas of sin, negative attitudes, doubt, low self-esteem.
You have saved us from our adversaries.
Then we believe Your promises and sing Your praise.

But we soon forget what You have done, and act without waiting for Your counsel.
We give in to our cravings and put You to the test.
Then we grumble and don’t obey.
We rebel against Your Spirit.

Yet You hear our cry and Your enduring love intervenes again.

Praise the Lord!

The Dogs in my Life

I had always wanted a dog as a child, but Mama wasn’t too keen on the idea. Neither was Daddy. Daddy had served in the Philippines in World War II, and came home afraid of the family dog even though he had known Fritz before he went to war. Fritz was in the family photo with his father and five sisters that he and his brother carried in their gear while they served. I later learned that the Japanese used dogs in warfare, but my father never spoke of it. So growing up, I made do with Fritz and with Wimpy – my aunt’s black cocker spaniel.

I remember going to our pastor’s house in Roseland which was down the hill from the church. They had a great dane who loved children and wanted to play with me, but I was so much smaller than it was and I was afraid. I stood up against a basement post with my dad behind me as a shield until they could corral him.
Finally, when I was in high school, Daddy got an overweight dachshund I named Toby which was from a Hungarian word for sausage. He wasn’t much for playing, but it didn’t matter at the time. He was very keen on protecting his bone, and when Mamma reached into the kennel for his dish not seeing the bone, he bit her and Daddy returned him to the man who gave him to us.

When I got married, my husband decided it was time for another dog. I don’t remember where we got Sandy from, but she loved being out in the yard. She was a pretty dog with little beige eyebrows. One night I was coming down the train station stairs and knew my hubby had come to walk home with me – I kept hearing, “Oh, look at the pretty dog!”

On the other side of our back fence was a set of railroad tracks, complete with the usual critters. One night, Sandy tangled with a skunk. We knew a skunk had been around when we got home, but didn’t really think anything of it at first. Up close, Sandy smelled fine, so we let her into the house for the night. As we were putting groceries away, we began to notice a funny odor. That’s when we put two and two together and took her downstairs for a tomato bath, which only made the odor more pronounced. She spent the rest of the week completely outdoors and managed to get skunked several more times that summer.

One evening we came home and Sandy was nowhere to be found. We searched the neighborhood and went to the nearest dog pound. We didn’t find her, but while we were walking down the aisle, I spotted a little buff colored cocker spaniel cowering in the back corner of her kennel. That’s how we came home with Chaya.
One night shortly after we got her, a friend was over. Chaya greeted Chuck and then disappeared upstairs. Chuck wanted to see more of her, so we called and called, but she wouldn’t come down. Finally, an exasperated Chuck called “Come here you ugly dog”, and she bounded down the stairs. That’s how Chaya become Ugly (much to my mother-in-law’s dismay and disappointment).

My husband worked nights on occasion, and one night I was awakened in the middle of the night by several loud thuds. I was scared to death, but slowly crept down the stairs. That’s when I heard the other sound – dog paws running and sliding. Ugly was using her nylabone as a hockey puck and having a grand time!

Then there was the night I got up to go to the bathroom. There was a full moon, so the bedroom was dimly lit. Enough to see Ugly lying on her back with all four paws straight up in the air. She had been sick that day and evening so I thought she had died in her sleep and scared her for a change when I dove down to the floor to check on her.

Ugly loved to sit in the front of the full length window screen door and watch the world go by. The mailbox was next to the door, and Ugly would watch the mailman come up the walk, deposit the mail in the box and walk away. THEN she would bark. We imagined coming downstairs someday to an empty first floor if she wouldn’t bark until the burglars were long gone!

Ugly had to be top dog. She tolerated Hawkeye, the English springer spaniel puppy my husband brought home, but when we added Beulah (to mate with Hawkeye) a year or so later, she was miserable, so we gave her to a good friend where she lived a long and happy life (and kept the ugly name!).