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Psalm 146

Praise the Lord O my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life and sing praise to God as long as I live – each and every day.

Don’t put your trust in rulers, in mortal men who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to dust and then their plans come to nothing.

Blessed is he whose help is God, whose hope is in God.
The God who made heaven earth and sea and everything in them.
God remains forever faithful.
God upholds the cause of the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, sets the       prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, lifts up those bowed down, loves the   righteous, watches over the alien, sustains the widow and fatherless,   frustrates the ways of the wicked.
God upholds the cause of sinlessness, gives the food of the Word, sets us   free from sin, gives sight to us to see His way, lifts us up from our burdens,   loves us, watches over us, sustains us and frustrates our enemies.

God reigns forever over all generations.

Praise God.

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The Proof that I am not Alone

From the very beginning I thought the wedding was in Elgin. Got the invitation months ago, read it, planted Elgin in my mind. The week of the wedding I heard the bride tell someone the wedding was in Elk Grove Village. Panic set it. Elgin was a lot closer. Elk Grove Village was a lot farther. I rushed to the computer to get directions. Two choices. Route 12 or Route 62. I wasn’t as familiar with 12. 62 was familiar, but two lanes through a lot of forest preserves. Not appealing for driving alone late on a Saturday night.

I went home and checked for hotel rooms. Booked solid. With the easy solution unavailable, I began to pray for the next step. There was no way I was not going. Do I look for a hotel room somewhere close by, or do I drive? The more I thought about driving, the more I began to think of all the nasty things that might happen. A woman driving alone on a dark two lane highway…so many possibilities. I worked on casting them down and out.

By Friday, I wasn’t any closer to knowing what to do, so I decided that if I heard the word “hotel” that morning either at work, or on the radio (as in “Hotel California”), I’d find a room and if not, I’d trust and drive. It was a busy morning, and before I knew it, it was time to head home. As I was locking up, and closed the door behind me, it dawned on me I had not heard the word “hotel”. I was driving.

I continued to fight the spiritual warfare battle. I was driving and God would protect me. I kept repeating verses and assurances and affirmations. As I began to get ready to leave, I got more and more nervous. I brought my walking shoes to drive in (and run in if I got into any trouble). By the time I got in the car and set up the GPS, my heart was pounding. Deep breath. Put in address. Back up. Start out.

On the way to Route 62, I was directed to turn left on Main Street to get to Route 62, but there was a road work sign that Main Street was closed at Route 62. I went straight and was sent to Route 72. Look! Four to six lanes!
When it was time to head for home, I prayed before pulling out asking God to go before me, be at my side and be my rear guard. And please let me have someone to follow the whole way. Had no problem finding my way back to Route 72 – one obstacle out of the way. Now to get home. Four to six lanes, traffic, someone to follow, well-lit – I began to relax.

Then, I was stopped at the second light from my house and could relax more fully. I began to laugh, for I had just driven 34-35 miles on two major rural routes and this was the first stoplight that was red! Not a single stop the entire way! Not only did God get me home safely, He did it in 50 minutes instead of 75!

“For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12b) No, I was not alone. I am never alone.

I am not Alone

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see that every chair at this dining room table is filled?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see You net to me on the love seat as I delve into Your word, pray, and watch the birds at the feeder? Would I see Your finger pointing out a particular word or phrase?

Just how exactly do You nudge me to look up just in time to see the hummingbird?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, just how crowded would the kitchen be?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would You feet be up too as we sit on the sofa watching movie?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see an angel at every door and window, or just one per side, or just on the roof?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I see an escort as I drive or just You in the passenger seat?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would You be beside me at work or occupying a client chair reading or lovingly watching me?

If You were to open my spiritual eyes, would I just see You knitting people together or also working with yarn and thread?

Please open my spiritual eyes so that I may see just how present You are every moment of my day.

Psalm 145

I will exalt You – lift You up where everyone can see You.
I will extol You – talk about You to everyone.
I will praise You – tell everyone all the good things about You.
Every day and forever I will exalt, extol and praise.

God is great – no one can begin to understand how great.
God is most worthy of praise – one generation will tell the next.
I will meditate on Your wonderful works.
Commend God’s works. Tell of His mighty acts. Speak of the glorious splendor of God’s majesty. Meditate on His wonderful works. Tell of the power of His awesome works. Proclaim His great deeds. Celebrate His abundant goodness. Joyfully sing of His righteousness.

God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. God is good to all, He has compassion on all He has made – He has compassion on me.
All You have made will praise You, Your saints will extol You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might so that all men may know if Your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and Your dominion, Your range of power endures through all generations.

God is faithful to all His promises – if He promises, He will do it. God is loving to all He has made – plants, animals, people, me. God holds up those who fall – He keeps them from sinking further. God lifts up those who are bowed down – He straightens their back.
Everyone looks to God – He gives us our food at the proper time (not necessarily our time). God opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing.

God is righteous in all His ways and loving to all He has made. God is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him truthfully – who are willing to let go of self and let God answer – who are truly yielded.
God fulfills the desires of all who fear Him, He hears their cry and saves them. God watches over all who love Him, but the wicked He will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of God.
Let every creature praise God forever and ever.

Psalm 144

Praise be to God. God is my Rock – my firm and solid foundation. God trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
God loves me and is my fortress, stronghold and deliverer, shield and refuge. God subdues people under me.
What is man that makes You care for him, think of him?
Man is like a breath, a fleeting shadow, Why bother?

Let the enemy know You’re here. Activate volcanoes. Send lightning.
Reach down – deliver me, rescue me. From floods, and enemies. From waters and lies.
I will sing a new song to You. To the One who gives victory and delivers from danger.

Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.

Then our sons will be like well-nurtured plants – vibrant – and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.
Our barns will be full with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands, our oxen will have much to carry.
There will be peace.

Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.

Psalm 143

Hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy.
Be Your faithful and righteous self and come to my relief.
Don’t bring me, Your servant, to judgment – no one living is righteous compared to You.

The enemy pursues me, crushes me, makes me hide and live at night. I’m tired and depressed.

I remember the past – I meditate on what You have done.
I ask Your help, praise Your name. My soul thirsts for You.

Hurry and answer, my spirit faints with longing.
Don’t hide from me or I’ll be like those who go to hell.
Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.
Show me which way I should go. I lift up my soul to You to make it easier for You to show me.
Rescue me from my enemies – I hide myself in You so my enemies will have a harder time finding me.
Teach me to do Your will – You are my God. May Your good Spirit lead me on level ground, steady in You.

For Your name’s sake, preserve my life.
In Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
In Your unfailing love, silence my enemies, destroy my foes. I am Your servant.
 

 

Psalm 142

I cry aloud to God.  I ask for mercy.

I complain and tell Him my trouble.

 

When my spirit grows faint and is ready to give up, it is You who knows my way.

Men have hidden a snare for me where I walk.  No one cares.  I have no safe place.

 

I cry to You.  You are my refuge, my safe place.  You are my share of life.

Listen to my cry, for I’m in desperate need.  Rescue me from my pursuers – they’re too strong for me.

Set me free from my prison of fear and enemy territory, that I may praise Your name.

Then the righteous will gather around and follow me with confidence because of Your goodness to me.