Thursday, May 31, 2007

B-day and Safety

Its Dad's b-day today, 66. Long life and God has graced him much along the way. He has taught me to be a giving person. Happy Birthday
In some ways I'm glad God is an all-seeing and knowing God, but then when my sin is hidden from everyone - I know HE sees and knows all about. He knows me better than anyone ever will and better and more intense than I will ever even know myself.
Ps 119.159
"Consider how I love your precepts, give me life according to your steadfast love."

Its funny that the psalmist asks God to consider this. Of course He knows. He's God. But what is frightening - yet safe (as JD used to say), is that He still loves us (steadfast love) even when He sees that our love for His Word (and Him) wanes and isn't always pure.
That is the love of the CROSS - all done for HIS glory - so that His steadfast love will reach the ends of the earth and everyone would know HIS renown!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Before the dawn

Ok - so I am a morning person, meaning I like to get up early, but i'm not really a social morning person. I need to get up, have time to myself, get going.
Something I've always admired about my mentor is the fact that no matter what she has going on in the day or what time she goes to bed, she always gets up early in the morning to have her time with God at her table. I remember when I lived there and her husband was working, she would get up, get him off, and then have her time (usually with some coffee or tea). But, in the mornings, that is where you would find her (and still will find her to this day).
All this does go together:
Ps 119.147
"I rise before the dawn - cry for help, I hope in your words."
Confrontation - that is what the psalmist is doing. He is attacking the day before it really gets going with the Words of truth to help him attack the sins that he will face that day. He tarries in the Word - he just doesn't do his quiet time and then leave - read and verse and that is all. He tarries (hopes) in it.
And just the other day I was talking about schedule - i guess I know what I need to do. And, yes, i know there is no formula - but there is obedience.

9 Marks

Ok - so I stuck another book in there to be read this week. I read this in light of joining a nw church and my meeting with one of the pastor's next week. I have been meaning to read this for a while, but just am now getting around to it.
Mark Dever is the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I tried to go there once, but couldn't find it - somewhere in dtown DC. It is a SBC church though much more conservative than many SBC churches today. He is part of the T4G group and some of his friends include: Piper, Mahaney, Mohler, Duncan, JD, etc.
I won't list the 9 Marks because you can go read them for yourself, but I will pull out some of my underlined things:
"What can you do to encourage biblical, sustainable, God-glorifying growth". I don't think this statement applies to just pastors (because he isn't writing to just pastors). This applies to every member of any church. We are all part of the body.
"A church must never charge a person with the spiritual oversight of the flock who does not in practice show a commitment to hear and to teach God's Word." - I'm so thankful for this trait in my pastors, both now and in the past, and in blogs of pastors I know. This should be the highest qualilty of any pastor.
"A healthy church is filled with people who have a heart for the gospel, and having a heart for the gospel means having a heart for the truth - for God's presentation of Himself, of our need, of Christ's provision, and of our responsibility." We should passionately beat for the gospel - but so many of our church, while passionate for the gospel, are not passionate for the truth. They water down the gospel and don't like to talk about SIN, HELL, SELF, WRONG, CHANGE, TRUTH, BLOOD, ABSOLUTES. These are vital to the gospel - just like SALVATION, HEAVEN, JOY, PEACE, GRACE, etc., are.
"We will begin to view a regulare responsibility involving us in one another's lives for the purposes of the gospel." - This is what we do in good, biblical small groups. This is where accountability takes place. This is where relationships happen. Churches without small groups (biblical ones, not gossip circles) can't effectively be doing accountability, ministry, discipleship, and discipline.

Alright - there are my two this week - but I'm still plugging along with Feminine Appeal and I brought some more out of my boxes today while looking for some other ones.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

what is your remedy?

So, tonight was the season finale of House - shocker even for most diehard HOUSE fans - but we'll see what next fall holds.
Then I was flipping through the guide to see what else was on. One of my fave movies: Sweet Home Alabama. And it was at the good part (where they talk in the coon dog cemetary. But, I have seen it. It took all that is within me (Spirit) to deny the flesh and shut off the tv and read the psalm for tonight. Then, then is the one I read:
Ps 119.143
"Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight."

When I am stressed from the day, anxious, pressed in from every side - what do I do? Usually I either cook, exercise, or most likely - watch tv or a movie. But - here is the psalmists remedy...delighting (finding extreme satisfaction) in the Word of God. The Word delight - every time it is found in the psalms - is used in regard to the Word of God. How cool is that?

So - the nex time you are stressed to the max - take time to see what you delight in - and go there.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pursuit of Holiness

As summer officially begins today: I'm setting a new goal. Two books a week for the summer (through Labor Day). I can only think of two weeks that it might be difficult - a week where there is a wedding and a week of a conference. Beside those (I still gotta get in one) I need to do two. There is so many more valuable things (like reading) I could be doing rather than watching tv. So, my first book is:
The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. He has also written Trusting God, Disciplines of Grace, Practive of Godliness, and others. Very readable and very convicting. Here are some of the main thoughts I got from the book:
"Sin shall not be our master" - this is what I read tonight is Ps 119.133 (see next post).
"As we grow in the Christian life we face increasing danger of spiritual pride. We know the correct doctrines,...but we may not see the poverty of our own character. Rev 3.17".
"It is hypocritcal to pray for victory over our sins yet be careless in our intake of the Word of God." - Again, this is evident in Ps 119.133
"If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation." This is a big concept found in modern psychotherapy. SAY NO!!!
"There must be an attitude of diligent obedience in every area if we are to succeed in mortifying any one expressions of sin."

Another good book to read on this topic: Mortification of Sin by Puritan author John Owen. This is most definitely a thicker read than Bridges' book, but it needs to be read.

Future books: Feminine Appeal (thanks for making me want to read it again, Elizabeth), Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas, and Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick (yes, JC, I still have this book of yours, I'll mail it to TX to you when I'm done!). So, I'm not quite practicing the whole chronological snobbery thing by Piper and Lewis, but most of my books are packed away. I'll do better in the future. I am doing a decade thing though:
Pursuit: 1978
Appeal: 2003
Sacred: 2000
Idols: 2001
(ok, so, sorta)...

Do you have any books you think I should read: let me know...

schedules and assumed authority

I've been thinking a lot about schedules this weekend. Since i don't have a regular job and don't have to be anywhere a set time and set days (mostly) it has been hard to really have anything scheduled (qt, exercise, meals, etc). I remember back in the day at Camp Sonlight we would have everything scheduled: lights out, meals and snacks, exercise (recreation), bible study time, pre-meal devotions (vespers), etc. It was great! I didn't have to question anything so nothing really took discipline - just obedience.
What brought this about was watching Dead Poet's Society and Emperor's Club this weekend for my class at church (OC). They were both set in boy's schools (prep schools) where there schedule was set for them - oh, the days.
Now, you may be thinking how can this fit in to a psalm? Oh, but it does...
Ps 119.133
"Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me."

Basically - make my daily life - everything - be a habit of staying in your Word (or discerning every thing I do by light of your Word). And don't let me - give authority - to any sin to be over me. I want you to be the only Authority in my life - let no idolatry (selfishness, pride, materialism, gluttony, laziness, seeking approval from others) have POWER over me.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

hope not in the disappointment

I again needed the psalm I read today. After watching movies all day (some were an assignment for my pathways class for Sunday), some were just for fun...this is the exact psalm I needed - also to guide my journaling tonight and my prayers for the coming days.
"God is bigger than the air I breathe, the world we'll leave, God will save the day, and all will say, my Glorious" - Chris Tomlin - That's the song that is playing on my iTunes player right now. Fitting...
Ps 119.128
"Therefore, I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way."
First, what is the "there...for" - God is going to act b/c his laws and ways have been broken - sin has occurred, I love the law above everything that money can buy on this earth.

In light of all that - I meditate with regard to acting upon your word because they will not lead me wrong. When rightly interpreted (only by the Spirit) will they lead us in the right direction, down a path for our enjoyment and sanctification. I hate every way that will lead to my disappointment or a road that will not lead to my sanctification - a hopeless jaunt down a false road will only end in my disappointment. This world deceives.

Hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation
: to desire with expectation of obtainment
: to expect with confidence (all thanks for M-W)

If we think about all the things we put our hope in, especially as women (our relationships, jobs, ministries, looks, status) - doesn't it sound silly that we put our hope in these things: when the only thing that won't let us down - that won't disappoint us is God? hmmm.

Friday, May 25, 2007

words and worship

I love it when Scripture and praise music are intertwined. Or in another words when you are reading Scripture and a song comes to mind, or (and hopefully more often) the other way around.
Tonight I was reading Ps 119.120 and a Passion (Jami Smith) song came to mind, first had to find the name of it, then I realized I had it - so I listened to it - behold the power of technology.
To Speak Your Name
My heart trembles at your word, my feet dance to your praise
My lips quiver to speak your name
O God reach out and hear our words, we sing them now let our hearts be heard
O draw us in to your sweet embrace
We live our lives in worship to you
We bow down, we cry out, in worship.

Even looking at the words of this song - outward signs (quiver, tremble, bowing down, crying out) of an inward longing (hearts be heard). Our outward worship (hands raised, dancing, jumping, volume, crying, bowing, etc) should never be the telltale - our heard should demonstrate that. Sorta like coming back to Matt's Heart of Worship.

Anyway - back to the Psalm at hand:
"My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments."

The flesh is the physical body - trembling (sorta like when you are afraid and the hair on your arm stands up or you get goose bumps). But, this isn't a horror film - this is the God who is deserved to be feared. He is more important and to be revered than anything on this earth. Does our outward lives show the inward movement and knowledge of the God of the Universe and what He has done for us? Shouldn't our worship prove that to a world who is dying and going to hell? Should they get the "Edge" of what eternal worship around the throne will be like (borrowed somewhat from ABC)?

I think so.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

worship and truth

Just watched a video for song-writing by Tim Hughes and then listened to one of the new songs off his CD - Clinging to the Cross or something like that. Didn't get to listen to all of it, but what I heard was great truth!
Then I read my passage in Ps 119 for tonight - what a great lead-in.
Ps 119.108
"Accept my freewill offering of praise, o Lord, and teach me your rules."

The idea of begging here - the psalmist begging God - to please be delighted in his praise of the One True God. He wants God to take great delight in his offering. Not just any offering, but one that is huge - free, large, over the top (like what Tim Hughes was saying in the video about U2 concerts). Why can't we be over the top in our worship of God - who is much bigger than U2 (or the Beatles)?
But, in our over the topness - we must remember John 4.24 and worship in spirit and in truth.
Second note - he not only wants his offering to be accepted, or delighted in, but he in turn wants to be disciplined in the truth, chastised in it literally. How often do we come to worship with the heart intent of being disciplined and chastised by the One who receives our worship? That is where Prov 22.6 and the famous Bible passage in Paul's letter to Timothy comes in.
If we want our worship to be acceptable and pleasing - than we must let the Word and the Spirit sanctify us. Then, maybe Ps 19.14 (our thoughts may be pleasing in Your sight) - can be true of us and we can be true, and delighted-in, worshippers.

Honey and other palatable desserts

I love the imagery the Bible uses to make things come alive to us. This verse is no different:
Ps 119.103
"How sweet are your words to my taste - sweeter than honey to my mouth."

I love to bake - everyone knows that. I love to bake for others and let them enjoy the sweetness and savor it. Their reaction is enough to make all the baking I do worth it - especially when they aren't expecting it. That is even better.
My Dad love pb and honey sandwiches - that would be his lunch of choice if he had to have something quick all the time. It sticks to your mouth and is sweet.
That is what this verse is talking about.

Take the sweet, smooth words of God, the law, and chew on them - they are palatable to your taste, they are pleasant even more so than honey to your literal mouth. Honey is gummy and you have to sit around a while to get it out of your mouth - it stays around. That is the same the Word is supposed to do - it is sweet, savor it, chew on it, mull it around, meditate on it - just the same as you would that expensive piece of dark chocolate, or how I do a dulce le leche piece of cheesecake from the Factory.
Do I savor the word - at least it isn't going to go straight to my hips (hopefully my heart and mind instead)!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

a new kind of war strategy

This verse is markedly different from each section of it:

Ps 119.95
"The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies."

The godless, the people who are hostile to God (Romans 5.8, 3.23 should ring a bell) expect - eager and hoping - to destroy the godly. Destroy here has a meaning of to make wander - like a sheep from a shepherd. So, the people who don't love the things of God - himself, his son, etc - want to make those of who do wander away from our Shepherd (John's gospel) - and we are dumb sheep of course.
But, as Eph 6 points out - if we take up the armor of God, the sword of the Spirit (your testimonies) - then we will be powered to stand up against Satan (and the godless, wicked).
To consider here means "to distinguish to to know, separate". We have to know these - the true ones - to distinguish them from the world's lies that sound oh so promising: you'll be happy if..., this will solve all my problems, I can do this and no one will know or find out... But to consider them, as M-W puts it: "to think of especially in regard to taking some action, or to gaze on steadily." I love the first part. We consider to take action - the wicked lie in wait - I'm sure they get tired being so hyped up all the time just in seeking us harm.
But, God wants us to rest in his Word, considering His testimonies - and put it on to go to war!

Monday, May 21, 2007

psalmist's logic

Here we do find some logic in Scripture. we are at the midway point! Thanks for continuing to read and hopefully be challenged like I am.
This is if so...then (or that) logic.

"In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth."

The other sayings in this section (81-88) are screaming of pain and affliction and crying out for the help of the Lord to come and rescue him. Who knows how long he has had to endure whatever it is he is enduring? But, how often to do experience painful times and continue to cry out - looking and waiting for relief?

THAT...if you do this...if you make me alive in your steadfast, zealous love for me...

I will guard or keep your statutes, your words, whatever you have told me to do.

Sometimes we pray prayers like this in the passing moment...God, if you'll just do this, then I will do anything you want (go to Africa, sell everything I have, etc). But, here the Psalmist says - if you will give me your faithful, steadfast, zealous love to make me alive again - I'll live that life to glorify (obey) you and your rules.

What good logic - do we live by it though?

the Constant Gardner

Ps 119.75
"I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me."

I haven't even seen the above mentioned movie - but I thought the title when dwelling on this verse.
I love the psalmist's almost sarcastic, underhanded tone (or at least that's how I read it). Its almost like: God, I know you are good in everything you do - and you will work something good from this pain you are inflicting on me. But, do we really like pain?

We perceive by experience that God is righteous in all He does. In his faithfulness - that faithfulness that makes him true to his very nature - tills me, cultivates me, browbeats me to humble me when I get too big for my britches or high and mighty. And what does cultivating the ground do - gets the bad stuff out so good stuff can grow!
Any gardner will tell you that you must prune and till and cultivate - or the roses or veggies or anything won't work that well or taste good or look pretty.
I think of my friend's, Bobby, back yard. Its amazing. Flowers, roses, blackberries, apples, blueberries, lychees, grapefruit, oranges - and that isn't all. But, over the years of watching his yard take shape and partaking of the goodness from it - I know he puts in a tons of work. He is out there watering, pruning, in and out of season. No wonder his fruit tastes so good and his flowers are so pretty. He works at it.
Don't you want God to work on you to cultivate you into something flavorful and pretty?

Not Elmer's Glue Stick

Ps 119.70 (after 69 which plays a part) is a unique one that comes alive when looking at the original languages. Hopefully come next year I won't have to keep looking at blue letter bible or asking Rach tons of Hebrew questions. SE is offering hebrew online and I think I will take it - or at least audit it.
"Their heart in unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law."

Who are the "their" - they are the ones from 69 who smear the psalmist with lies - who glue deception to the writer. He is the most excellent at grossness or fat. Even if you think of regular makes you fluffy where you can't feel stuff.

BUT...that is a term of contradiction or opposition of the first part. So, while the insolent (or proud) are like that, I want to be the humble of the humble and be able to come before God and hear his instruction. But, if my heart is unfeeling like fat, than the instruction of the Lord won't stick to me.

Delight is to be smeared. So, the same (but opposite) of the insolent. Their heart is smeared or glued with lies, while my heart, the psalmist's heart, is smeared or blinded by the instruction of the Lord.

Does your heart even know the instruction of God well enough to be blinded by it? To live in opposition of the proud?

she is one of a kind!

She is so special to me. The Holy Spirit uses her to convict with me personal testimony and the Word. She is my Hebrew scholar, she is my cooking expert, she loves to go hiking and camping.

Rach - I love you and am so thankful for Matt and the Shanes for introducing us almost 2 years ago!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

pleading and understanding our sickness

Well, this morning when I first read this verse, I was coming it at it from a slightly different point - but having looked deeper into the words the psalmist chose to use - I get a new meaning:
Ps 119.58
"I entreat your favor with all my heart, be gracious to me according to your promise."

We must beg, be sick in front of, be weak, be humble - in front of God. We are nothing and are dead in our trespasses and sins before a holy God. Only the humble and contrite in heart will He accept and allow to worship Him - he will reject the proud. The word Favor here also means - FACE. We should be humble to come before - always seeking - the face of God (not the gifts of God), but literally the very face of God.
With all of my heart. Piper introduced me to this verse: Ps 86.11 - Unite my heart to fear your name. Same thing - with everything I am I want to come before the Lord and seek His face. The whole of my everything - in this definition or explanation there is no room for dissection or parts of us. There is no compartmentalization - forbid it - say bye to it. It doesn't belong in the Christian life.
Be gracious - show pity to the sick - again, referring to his position before the Lord - his sickness and weakness - he asks for Him to be gracious to Him according to the promise, very word, of God - who is able and willing to keep all of his promises.

Aren't you glad?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

hoping expectantly

Waiting - ah, behold what a great word all of us like to hear (and even better when we get to practice it!). But, here in the Ps 119 for today - the psalmist seems to be giving us some insight into what he is feeling and how he is calling on the Lord to act.
But, go back first to what we learned yesterday. God acts according to His character - not mine. God does what He deems right and when He knows it is going to be done - not according to my whims and attitudes and longings. Isn't that better anyway?
Ps 119.49
"Remember your Word to your servant, in which you have made me hope."
Here - he is pleading with the Lord (sounds a bit desparate when you read the end of the sentence) - to be true to His Word and be faithful as He has promised He will be. He knows God to be this way - but He is praying for continuance. How many times have you prayed and prayed for something and it still hasn't come - but do you give up - hopefully not? God is still working - even if we can't see what He is doing. I am preaching to myself here as well so don't worry!
Again, just like in 119.17 - we see the humility of the psalmist. Even though he is talking, praying, pleading even with the God of the universe - he remembers his place. We must never presume to know more than God or think we have become God. Sometimes our lives reflect that very attitude. But, the psalmist here remembers his place - as the created one not the Creator (remember Job's conversation with God?)
When I think of the word Hope I usually think of a positive thing - but not so in this case (or at least that is what I think it means after looking it up). This hope has a sense of waiting or tarrying. Who knows what the psalmist is going through or how long he has been waiting for a certain action or thing from God...but he says that God has made him wait, but wait expectantly. There is a verse I love - in the morning, offer up worship - and wait expectantly. Again, I think it is a psalm. Do your mornings reflect that? Do you wake up each morning praying that your day would be one of worship to God and plead with him that you live it expectantly - not complacently. He is going to act - are you going to miss it?

Anyway - those are the thoughts for today

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

trampling the Word

Here I am at a hotel in Richmond - attending a genealogy conference. Drove up here - loving the VA landscape - it is so gorgeous. Definitely in the top 3 states to live in (after FL and GA). :)
But, asking some prayers of God right now - waiting patiently and obediently (albeit it is hard) for the answers. I have been pondering these verses for three days now and am just now getting to picking a couple to focus on - I love these verses. I'll combine them...good stuff...

Ps 119.41, 45
"Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise. And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts."

God's steadfast love is not burdensome - it is a light thing (not one to be taken lightly though. I actually want it to be overwhelming - not something I can take lightly. But, I always think of the steadfast love of God as being something as part of his nature. Something of HIS covenant - faithful promise - something that is tied in with the very being and nature of God. That is something that can't be negated. HIS promise is tied in with WHO HE IS. That is namely his salvation - his mercies. But in here it is also victory and deliverance. I would like to think that can apply to earthly situations as well. But, know everything is worked together for the good of those who are called according to HIS SON.

The wide plce - the broad place - was the same as used with the Israelites that Moses would lead them to - out of Egypt, bondage, into a wide place, a place flowing with milk and honey - beneficial for them. God please don't let the bondage last 40 years. But, the second half of the psalm is I have sought your precepts. This sought is a cool seek with care, inquire with a demand, to beat or to trample. Literally - beat the Word till you get an answer. How often do we seek others advice first before we take things to God and find His answers in the Word? Now - we do have wise Christian friends who will hopefully guide us with answers found in the Word - but this Psalm is telling us to trample the Word for answers - "terere libros" - to study and learn.

So - regarding situations that you are needing an answer for, guidance for - SEEK THE WORD - that is what it is here for - for us to hear from God and relish in his steadfast, zealous, love for us!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

happy mothers day

Well, this is a mother's day post a day early since I'll be in OC all day tomorrow. We have baked all weekend for the luncheon today. Speaking went good. I said all I wanted to say. Heb 11 mostly. Faith, obedience, and knowing and believing God to be who He said He was - even when the going gets tough as mothers.

This is a picture of my granny (mom's mom), and mom, and me. Then we took about 10 shots and got in a good one right at the end. Thanks for being patient mom!

Friday, May 11, 2007

more bubbles

I read this and thought about this while on the way back from Little Sarasota Bay today. went down there for a great Mother's Day Lunch at a cool restaurant with great mahi mahi right on the water. Cloudy, but the smoke wasn't too bad down there on the water.

This is the verse my mind clung to today: ps 119.37
"Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways." This is a prayer of helplessness to the only one who can do it.
The writer is crying out - a sense of desparation - for God to turn his eyes, both physical and spiritual from looking (or contemplating, considering) worthless things: bubbles, vanity, emptiness - Ecclesiastes). I read that book this summer when I was learning about striving - how I do it and why I shouldn't do it - it was "depressing" as my roommate called it - but it was eye opening as I learned how often I chased after these bubbles.
But, by God turning our eyes from bubbles to his ways - there we find life. Not just life, but revived life (same as in 17), sustaining life. Isn't it amazing. One thing finds no worth at all - and the other can make all the difference.
This is where I find hope in the hopeless - make me look at it more.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

running on empty

Have you ever tried to work out on an empty stomach - or even dehydrated? it isn't fun and that is not how it is supposed to be done. The other day I was hungry and out traveling before I went to the gym, so i stopped by Publix and got some Kashi and an apple. Good little snack before I went to the elliptical!
I read Ps 119.32 today and thought this was a lot of the same thing. How often do we try to live the Christian life running on empty - without getting filled with his WORD! The psalmist talks about it here.
"I will run in the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart." We are active in the first part, only after we are passive in the second part.

Not only are we to run here (like a jog) - we are supposed to run swiftly in all the days of our lives - not just on Sundays or when things are going well with people around us - all the days - our manner of living. Similar to the NT's word for walk.
But - God must first make our understanding broad. we are to pray for this - God will do it. We can't do it on our own without grace. God will give us understanding - He wants us to understand it and grow in the Word - why would He hide it from us? He has given us the Holy Spirit (John 15-17) to illumine us in the matters of God and his Son (and himself).

Pray today, especially if you have been running on empty, that God would enlarge your heart (or will, understanding) for the Word. He will!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

bountiful breathing

The grace of God - ever present.
Ps 119.17, 20 - I had to do two tonight due to the cohesiveness of them. One dealt so beautifully with the other. You can't have one without the other. I think you get my point.
"Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your Word. My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times."

Grace is needed because the second verse does not sound like me all the time. Ezra may have written then - but he was in no way a servant - but here he knows his place, the lowest of the low - humility. One has to be humble to have this longing for the word. Live is to be revived - we are dead without the life that Jesus offers us and God tells us about that life in His Word. That keep is the same one in the first section - an active participation.
My very breath - what makes me tick - is broken, crushed (again humility by author) with a "to breathe after" your judgments at every opportunity.

Ok - so here is my version - the KDV
King of Kings - give me grace - I am nothing in your sight, but please revive me that I may live to keep every Word that comes out of your mouth. I will breathe for those Words - I am broken without them, but I want to breathe after your very judgments that you pronounce over me at every opportunity I have - every minute of my day.

See - I still am not like that - grace it will have to be. I can't work this in myself.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Watchful Attention

Ps 119.9
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word."

I had trouble just picking one today, but this one won out. I figured if I want to present myself pure to my husband one day on our wedding day - and to present myself pure to my Jesus - then shouldn't I know what the Bible says about doing that?

This young man the psalmist talks about is a learner, student, servant. One is always in a position of submission and learning. Doesn't have anything to do with how much I know about anything - I'm still a servant and learner of Christ.

Pure - first I thought it had to do with our justification in the finished work of Christ on the cross, but nope. It has to do with the morality of life. Our purity in the manner in which we walk (morally). It is also translucent. Pure and translucent - like these new lightbulbs that we have in our dining room - the kind that are supposed to last like 7 years - hmmm. I think they just want more money. They are more expensive - but I digress.

Guard - to save, protect, be attentive. This is "watchful attention". Like Ron said - we have to be diligent and careful in our obedience to the Word. We can't just think obedience is going to happen - plan obedience, be watchful and attentive to the Words of God. But, this also is the word used when God told Adam to "keep the garden". It was more of a personal space guarding then the border of the US guarding. There is a difference. We are to guard our hearts, minds, souls - not everyone elses.

So - do you actively pursue obedience and are you on the active watch to keep your way pure?

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Longest Psalm

Since I've been talking so much about the importance of the Word - I thought I might study about it. Ps 119 is most decidedly the longest section of Scripture - but there is so much to it that I thought I would take it slowly. There are already built in sections. So, I took the first section tonight and read it while on the elliptical - takes my mind off the sudden inclines!
The first one that stood out to me was 119.4
"You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently." So, I studied it...

You...obviously not us, not our interpretations or thoughts on that matter, but the CREATOR, King of Kings, Sovereign One, Lord, the Commander in Chief.

Have Commanded...past tense. He has already told us this. And it isn't something to be taken lightly. It is a command. I was thinking of soldiers when they receive a command all they can do is say "sir, yes sir". Is that our response to our Commander? Not hardly. Well, speaking from personal experience. I try to rationalize it, say I can do it next time or something else. Instead of immediate obedience.

Your precepts...Again, not mine. It doesn't matter what I think, just keep. Precepts (many different names for the Word in this psalm) means something that is pretty much established as general rule.

To Be treasure or to guard, to keep. I was thinking of the Proverbs where it says to guard your heart above all else and now Rom 12 where it says do not be conformed but renew your mind. This is how we do it.

Diligently...this was my "hmmm" word for tonight. When I read the m-w definition it made me go hmmm. (That is what I mean). It comes from the word to esteem or to love. Wow - so really, when the Word says they will know you by you keeping the commandments, and love your neighbor, or do to the least of others and you will love me. But, also this word means earnest, energetically - with eagerness keep ALL the instructions of the Lord.

How often, if we do keep his commands, do we do them because we'll get something or we do them with a chip on our shoulder, or a hard heart. This goes right along with the other stuff I'm learning...joyful obedience.

Well, more tomorrow from the second section of Ps 119.

Friday, May 04, 2007


You would think by the time one is 30 this would get easier - but oh, no, it doesn't. Obedience was difficult this week - and it will continue to be difficult - but it still must be done. As one Pastor in SC puts it:

You must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following His instructions in every detail. Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow.. (Deuteronomy 5:32-33) In these verses, Moses teaches on the importance of discipline, detail, & direction in our obedience to the Lord. He first writes, be careful to obey. This means that obedience to the Lord is not something that happens easily, automatically, or accidentally. True obedience requires more than just desire and good intentions. It requires discipline. We must intentionally plan to obey God. We must set our minds to obey God. So implied in this is that there will always be obstacles or challenges to obeying God which equals opportunities to disobey God. (emphasis mine)

This really hit home to me b.c so often I put tv above him, or outside reading, or shopping, or exercising - but what God demands of me (only by HIS grace) is that I am careful to obey - set my mind on things above (Col 3).
Then you know what, we fail. We live by the flesh. We aren't perfect (why is that always our excuse). It is true - but God says if we walk by the Spirit we will not live by the flesh. So, if I am walking in the Spirit - then I will not overeat, lash out, be sarcastic, speed, spend too much money, sleep that extra hour, be lazy, and my list could go on and on.

Is obedience hard for you?