Remember I told you that Zephaniah says “The Lord sings over you? Reading a poem by Ben Palpant I came across this stanza:
Sing to me, O my troubadour,
Let your songs echo
In the halls of my loneliness,
Even my shame,
So that I may sing back
and, perhaps, learn by heart.
"Bright Fire" by Ben Palpant Sojourner Songs
I love his idea that he “may sing back and, perhaps, learn by heart.” I resisted piano lessons as a child because I could hear the music and play many melodies ‘by ear.’ And that is how I read this stanza of Palpant’s poem. I want to hear the songs of God and learn to play them by ear….
Help me sing those melodies back to You, my Lord. Help me sing those melodies to myself in times of struggle or discouragement. Remind me of Your holy music.
Well the new computer said I had to restart to install updates. I hit the button and went off to eat breakfast. I really wanted an early start on writing Have had so many interrupted writing days lately. Wanted to get ahead for when we travel next month.
Came back after breakfast and still spinning though it said 100% complete. Started a load of wash. Still spinning. Updated paper journal. Still spinning. By now I was getting aggravated (one of my mom’s favorite words) . Over 45 minutes had passed.
At Bob’s suggestion asked online what the deal is. Seems Windows 11 is having massive trouble with these updates. Well that does not help me WRITE TODAY!! Turned off computer. When I turned it back on updates started all over. At the moment 63%. So here I am writing on the laptop. Perhaps this is planned practice for when we travel?
“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage meaning, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” Despite our most careful planning, the Road of Life is unpredictable.
Saul Levine, M.D.
Things will have to be cleaned up on this post for certain! And then updates worked and I am back on the desktop. Yikes. I am not in charge of this blog. Each day I give it over to the Lord. I ask Him to bless the content and the readers, that is you!
We all get frustrated and irritable when things do not go our way. My goal is to shorten the time when this happens and get back to putting my attention upon Jesus as quickly as possible. As Thomas R. Kelly wrote,
Lapses and forgettings are so frequent. When you catch yourself again, lose no time in self-recriminations, but breath a silent prayer for forgiveness and begin again, just where you are.
The Light Within
Would you try that right now? Read the quote above and give yourself a moment to do it. Breath a silent prayer and begin again with Him who loves you best.
Offer this broken worship to Him and say: “This is what I am except Thou aid me.”
The Light Within
I usually pray, “Left to myself I will always mess it up.” Jesus said, “Of myself I can do nothing.” John 5:30a
As lawn guys go thundering past my window I pray you will keep me focused upon You, Lord God. Help me stay in Your Presence regardless of what the day brings or does not bring. I agree with Kelly, “we are owned men and women.” Have Your own way in and through me. Amen.
I believe one reason we fear silence and stillness is we do not want to know ourselves and what God has to say about us. If we could only trust Him in a small way we would learn that He loves us more than we love ourselves. In fact, He treasures and adores us.
The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing
Zephaniah 3:17 NRSV
The writings of Oswald Chambers contained in the book noted below were excerpted from articles published by God’s Bible School in Cincinnati. The articles were taken from his classroom lectures and Bible studies and published in the school’s periodical God’s Revivalist.
What does the Bible mean when it says to be an example to the flock of God? You must be a walking example of what you believe, in every moment of your life, known and unknown. You must bear the scrutiny of God until you prove that you are indeed a specimen of what He can do. Then He will send you out to disciple all nations.
Oswald Chambers, September 18 selection from “Devotions for a Deeper Life”
Every moment known and unknown. Things done in secret. I do not think this refers just to shameful things. Our deepest wounds are often kept private. The healing the Lord may give from those wounds is also usually given in private. The deep formation of a disciple usually takes place in private.
But whenever you pray, enter into your inner room and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:6 NIV
Your Father who sees in secret. He hears every whisper or shout of a prayer. Your Father knows you inside and out. He will not require that you share with others what He does in your secret place of prayer. There may however, come a time when you want to shout His work from the rooftops.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer captured my attention writing in The Cost of Discipleship when he emphasized that we each walk alone with God.
Every man is called separately and must follow alone.
Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, Discipleship and the Individual
Many of us admire other Christians but we know little or nothing about what it takes for them to be public Christians. We have no clue what happens between them and the Trinity in private. No idea the depth of their wounds or the strength of the healing times the Lord has sent to them. All most often occur in private.
You interact with your Father in a private place, even if you are kneeling in a sanctuary packed with other people. We can share our experiences with others but we are essentially alone with Christ in our walk. Yes, He encourages fellowship with those who are like minded, but in the final analysis we are each alone with Him. He reads our heart. He corrects our course. He convicts us when we go astray. He gives us His righteousness. He suffered and died for our salvation and for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despised the shame and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NRSV)
Public, private, the deepest things occur in a private place with your Holy Trinity God.
Steffany Gretzinger in her song “Forever Amen” sums it up for me. “I was made to love You. Let me hear the sound of Your voice…”
I would strongly encourage you that when you hear the sound of His voice, go running to a quiet place. Listen up! For unlike human parents, the Father does not waste His breath. He speaks to us with power, love, meaning and transformative powers.
We got engaged to be married August 10, 1970 and stayed up all night long talking about our families and our lives together. After hearing about the New York relatives with names like Evakovich and Stajcich, when I called home to say I was getting married my mother asked, “What is his name?” I replied “I can’t remember!” Mind you, Dutina is not exactly a common name, but imagine my mother’s face in Ohio when I called from California.
Someone placed a bet at the wedding that we would never last. We never had the courage to ask my mother-in-law who that was. Guess we might never find out now!
So we will go out for a fancy dinner and remind ourselves of all the joys we have shared over the years. I am still madly in love with this gorgeous man! He is a gift and a monstrous blessing to me. My life with him has been one grateful surprise after another grateful surprise. Oh Lord, You have made my life such a blessing through this holy matrimony.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wifeand the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Plop us down in one place for a year and suddenly we have things. Stacks of things. Lots of things. Things sitting out that could be put away. How do we accumulate all these things? How often do you pare down the things you have accumulated?
When we first moved into this house we rented a storage unit. We had things we were not certain we needed or should be rid of. Now it is mostly Christmas decorations, (I try to get rid of more every year). We are going to get rid of our storage unit and put our things in with someone else. Why pay for 2 when all the things fit in one unit!
However, that does not cover what is in the house. I have been slowly going through drawers and closets getting rid of things not used in the past year. We have been here for over a year so now is the time!
Are you overrun with things? I find things sometimes distract me from the Lord. The photos in my office remind me of Him and also of good times Bob and I have celebrated.
And Arches National Park where I spotted the Trinity, or was it the Three Wise men in the shadows?
As I rearrange pots and pans and other things to better locations I am reminded to always fix my eyes upon Him. May you be blessed to do the same! More important than things is seeking His Kingdom.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Can almost go without orthotic boot except when walking long distances like at the Sisters of Charity convent from meeting room to cafeteria last weekend. Still doing my stretches and will likely need to do those the rest of my life. Long HOT summer in that boot, but at least I was able to get up and out with it!
Old computer would not run Windows 11 and all the other programs were going like molasses in winter. New computer set up has begun.
New computer, so much to wade through
Turn this security off
Install this other security
Connect to internet
Where is the chrome browser?
How will I ever get ready for writing
Sixteen hours from now
Download these files
Forget these, but I do not have patience
to do that complicated technical stuff right now
Then suddenly security is installed.
Add this to taskbar.
Get this working
This will be weeks in the process
As I learn to look here
Go over to this place
Learn something new every day?
This could be my brain bank building
For weeks on end!
Where are my music files?!?
intel CORE i7 Dell says there is blue some place on it, guess the dark ridged cover
Ha! Surprised myself being able to write this morning using this new computer and stuff.
I suppose without the technology most of you would not be able to read this unless I wrote it out on paper, had the photos developed, had access to your home address, put it in an envelope and sent it off with the proper postage. Yes, I am grateful for the means to be able to obtain the new computer, consult my son-in-law for the best model in my price range, etc. etc.
Most of all I am grateful to God for you, the readers, the gifting to put things in words, access to photos, etc. Learned at my retreat this weekend that I can find free photos at a site called Upsplash. I am looking forward to learning how to use that sight and not be using anyone’s photos without permission. SO here is the keyboard that brings you the blog words, but I use a desk top computer rather than a laptop most of the time.
Thank you, Lord, for making provision for this blog. Please bless the readers and the subscribers. May You be glorified in the work I do here. All glory be to You. Amen.
To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.
During an evening walk with Lucky, when I was way beyond tired, delightfully astonished to find this praying mantis on a neighbor’s car.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 4-7 NIV
Present even your fatigue! Keep watching for those treasures in plain sight! Reminders of His care and the glory of His creation.
She is one of my favorite, new-to-me Christian artists. I recently ordered her CD Forever Amen. I admire so many songs on this CD I thought I ought to order it to support her work and have it on all my devices.
On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
Acts 14:27 NIV
Remember, reflect, think, review, grow. Why do we do this so seldom? As I was pondering this my pastor posted a video blog on the value of reviewing our lives. I used to do that during retreats at the Convent of the Transfiguration. Lately it seems we always schedule travel during those retreat weekends. (sigh)
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
1 Peter 3:15
This is a great song about the Lord’s supper adding to the message, remember. He made the altar into a table.
Praying you will take time this week to review, ponder, elevate His works in your recent life. Can you go so far as to make a list for your own use in praise?
I pray this helps those of you who are looking for that booster for well-being. May the Lord Jesus Christ bring you to a place where you too can be “chastened, corrected, purified, refined and strengthened.”