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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

14 Mar

psalm 38 – #shereadstruth

Has anyone been following along with the current SheReadsTruth series for lent … “fasting?” It’s been so very good! If you’re looking for a study to join, participate in, or just follow along … this is definitely one to read!

This week we’ve been asked to share our thoughts on Psalm 38. It’s long — a lot longer than last week’s – but it’s good! Lots of bits of wisdom and insight! I’ll share a few take-aways after the verse below:

A David Psalm

Take a deep breath, God; calm down—
don’t be so hasty with your punishing rod.
Your sharp-pointed arrows of rebuke draw blood;
my backside smarts from your caning.

I’ve lost twenty pounds in two months
because of your accusation.
My bones are brittle as dry sticks
because of my sin.
I’m swamped by my bad behavior,
collapsed under gunnysacks of guilt.

The cuts in my flesh stink and grow maggots
because I’ve lived so badly.
And now I’m flat on my face
feeling sorry for myself morning to night.
All my insides are on fire,
my body is a wreck.
I’m on my last legs; I’ve had it—
my life is a vomit of groans.

Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight,
my groans an old story to you.
My heart’s about to break;
I’m a burned-out case.
Cataracts blind me to God and good;
old friends avoid me like the plague.
My cousins never visit,
my neighbors stab me in the back.
My competitors blacken my name,
devoutly they pray for my ruin.
But I’m deaf and mute to it all,
ears shut, mouth shut.
I don’t hear a word they say,
don’t speak a word in response.
What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!
I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off,
won’t smugly strut off when I stumble.

I’m on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.
I’m ready to tell my story of failure,
I’m no longer smug in my sin.
My enemies are alive and in action,
a lynch mob after my neck.
I give out good and get back evil
from God-haters who can’t stand a God-lover.

Don’t dump me, God;
my God, don’t stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!

This Psalm title is a psalm to bring to remembrance. Matthew Henry says {paraphrasing}, “This psalm teaches us in times of sickness and affliction to bring to remembrance, in times of sin to bring to remembrance, and in times of adversity to bring to remembrance. Also to use this petition – psalm – when praying for others who may be facing sickness, sin, and/or adversity.”

As I read through this psalm, I can see myself in the way David is crying out … “Take a deep breath, God; calm down—don’t be so hasty.”

And … paraphrasing here – “Ouch! My bumbum hurts from your discipline!”

And then blah, blah, blah … the need to list out all my adversities … as if God doesn’t already know what I’m going through.

“My heart’s about to break;
I’m a burned-out case.”

{can I get a witness?}

And then some more blah, blah, blah with a good dose of whine thrown in!

But then … the promise! The good word! The money we can take to the bank:

“What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!”

Then a little more whine -

“I’m on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.”

And then a grand finale plea to finish my prayer:

“Don’t dump me, God;
my God, don’t stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!”

Don’t dump me God. Don’t forsake me. Don’t forget about me. Hurry up Lord. I’m here waiting. Help me! I want … need … wide-open space in my life.

I don’t know what God knows about you. But what God knows about me? I can whine with the best of ‘em! I mean, surely someone needs to remind Him of what I’m going through. Not to mention that P.S. to hurry up and help me already. Haven’t I endured enough?

And then I remember. The same promise we talked about last week — wait and watch. He WILL answer.

They’re not just words. It’s a promise. It’s God’s promise. No matter how long it takes, one thing we can always, always, always be absolutely sure of? God promises are always right.on.time. HIS time.

He loves us. He hasn’t forsaken us … He promises us He never will. And I believe it. I’m thankful for it. And I rest in it.


Posted in bible, bible study, she reads truth


7 Mar

psalm 130 – #shereadstruth

During this Lenten season, I’m joining SheReadsTruth in their request to have their readers, become their writers. Follow that?

So … each week the ladies at SheReadsTruth will post a scripture for their readers to study and pray over. Then on Friday of that week, the goal is to have their readers write a devotion on the intended scripture.

This week’s scripture is Psalm 130. I’ve read different versions of it, but like The Message best:

A Pilgrim Song

Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life!
Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
Listen to my cries for mercy.

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.

I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.

O Israel, wait and watch for God—
with God’s arrival comes love,
with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it—he’ll redeem Israel,
buy back Israel from captivity to sin.
Psalm 130, The Message

I think my most favorite thing about this chapter is that David calls it, “A Pilgrim Song.” The very definition of a pilgrim, is one who’s on a journey to a holy place. Most often a pilgrim is described as a traveler who is journeying by foot.

Think of Abram and his long pilgrimage toward the holy land. And David, the author of Psalms, as he journeyed through the desert waiting for God’s faithfulness to reveal itself.

I don’t know about you, but one word that comes to mind when I think “pilgrim,” is weary. Weary is a word I know well, and David’s “Pilgrim Song” is one that resonates in my soul.

Other translations start Psalm 130 this way:

  • “From the depths of despair …” NLT
  • “From the depths of disaster … ” The Voice
  • “Lord, I am in great trouble … ” NCV
  • “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord … ” NIV

Any way you translate it, I read pain and weariness.

David is crying out to God to hear his plea for help. For mercy. He’s using his life as a prayer, waiting to hear from God. “Waiting and watching till morning.” Did you notice? The “waiting and watching” was so important, David wrote it twice.

And then for emphasis, he writes one more time … “O Israel, wait and watch for God.”

You know what though? As much as the weary, crying out for help resonates with my soul … the promises might resonate even more so. Psalm 130 goes on to say — promise — upon God’s arrival comes love and redemption. “No doubt about it,” David writes, He’ll redeem Israel!” {exclamation point mine}

Wait. And watch. And He’ll be faithful.

I can’t think of a more beautiful promise to start us off on this Lenten pilgrimage to God’s revelation of His ultimate promise … resurrection day!


Posted in bible, bible study, she reads truth


28 Jun

creative journaling

“When I create art, my mind wanders and more of my heart and what I am feeling are revealed. When I slow down and do something that is just for me, magic happens. I am the most honest with myself in the quiet of my studio when paint is on my hands and my apron has another layer of color on it. As I create, what always shows up in my art, are words. Words buried below the layers of paper and paints. Words spilled across the canvas. Words dripping along the edges and always the final act of any piece.” source

I’m not gonna lie … I’m kinda obsessed with Instagram over here! It’s been my new source of social media. It’s tweets and statuses all wrapped up in an image and I love it! I’m also connecting with all kinds of people and that’s nothing but an added bonus in my book!

One of the people I’ve connected with does beautiful … like gorgeous-beautiful … creative journaling and I’ve been enthralled and inspired to give it a try. I’ve never been a fan of my handwriting and have never been very “cutesy” with my doodling. So truthfully, it was a little intimidating to just let go and give it a try. Something else that became very evident is how shaky my hands have been become {MS related}.

But the feeling I got when I just let go and created … using truths from the Word of God … was kinda refreshing, calming, joy-filled, and peaceful!

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:6 NLT

God’s instilled a need for creativity within me … but I never quite realized it until I stopped creating and felt a small void in my life. I believe when we’re not using the gifts and passions we’ve been given, we start to feel a void within.

This type of journaling is a small way to fill my creative void, but the result I feel inside is huge.

Discussion: Is there something you do just for you? What gift or passion fills a void and brings joy into your life? And do you take the time to stay engaged and active in what you’ve been called to do?


Posted in bible, creative, encouragement


22 Jun

god doesn’t punish

Do you ever wonder if you’re being punished? Is the season you’re in so difficult you think God might be punishing you?

As Terrie and I were talking last week, we spoke of the ninth chapter in John, where Jesus heals a man born blind.

The scripture says, “His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?’”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

Huge sigh. Literally.

Discussion: If you’re walking a difficult season of life right now and simply can. not. figure out why … could you rest in the fact that God may be using you to encourage others?

 


Posted in bible, encouragement


1 Jun

isaiah 66:9

{source}


Posted in bible, pinterest