Friday, April 24, 2009

My Light! My Salvation!

The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Psalms 27:1 and 5

In my Junior and Senior high school years, I was the "darling" of the regional sororities. For some reason these classy ladies felt that I had enough talent to compete in the Talent shows and perform at the Cotillions they sponsored.
My music teacher, Mrs. Streater, was a lover of all types of music and her choices to teach me for the competitions were classical pieces. It was this wonderful woman that taught me the classical arrangement of "The Lord is my light".

Even though I could hit every note and stay on perfect pitch, I did not know the power in the words I was singing at the time. Though the awards and accolades came, I still did not know what a declaration of faith I was singing. Oh if I knew then like I know now!
It says in God's Word that His Words will not return to Him void, so I hope that even though I did not understand the magnitude of what I was singing, perhaps God in His Mercy allowed those Words to fall on hearts that needed the encouragement.
Years later, these very words have helped me so many times. "The Lord IS my light", when darkness tries to over take me; "My salvation", when I needed to be rescued; "Whom shall I fear" when I about to undergo a test or trial. Time after time, this Psalm has done away with the fear and brought "light" to my situation.
I believe that it was a part of God's plan for my life that I learn the words at an early age, for they are forever planted in my heart. Thank you Mrs. Streater for insisting that a teenager learn a classical song that would live in her heart and be the source of encouragement for all eternity!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. " Psalms 51:10

With all the rain that we've had here in the past week, I would say that the earth has had a good washin'! I traveled south over the Easter break from school to visit relatives. And all down the east coast I was met with rain, in some cases torrential downpourings. Everything has a purpose, so I know that the rain is good for many things. I may not like the clouds, dark skies and muddy puddles that accompany it, but I am sure that the benefits of rain far exceed the complaints.

Sometimes our hearts need a good washin'. No matter how many years that I have submitted my life to the Lord, there are still times that I need to take the time and really look into my heart to see if there are things that should not be there. I must admit most of the time that I check I always find something that has creeped in that I know would not be pleasing to God. Whether it be unforgiveness, gossip, not showing love, or pride, these things and more, should not take root in my heart.

I ask the Lord to wash me clean so that I can stand in His presence without shame, without regret. I NEVER want to be in a state where I no longer can sense God's presence in my life. I NEVER want to lose the confidence that He is always with me. Can this happen? I believe it can. God will never change, He will always remain the same, but I believe that we can allow so many things that are not pleasing to Him to enter into our hearts that WE can feel removed from His presence.

When David , the psalmist, wrote the 51st Psalm, he was in a place of regret for the sins he had commited and his earnest desire was to have a clean heart and he goes on to ask that God not take His presence, His Holy Spirit from him. that was his greatest concern...and it is my prayer and desire as well. Give me a clean heart Lord, forgive me and may I always stay in your presence. Help me to be mindful of the price You paid for me to have a clean heart.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trust in His Mercy

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise You forever, because You have done it;And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.
Psalms 52:8-9

The Olive tree is mentioned so many times in the Bible, besides it growing in abundance in the Middle East, it has so many helpful uses. In some cultures the Olive leaf represents glory and peace. And then the fruit of the tree is good to eat and we know about all the healthful benefits of the oil. The Olive tree also has a long life span. It is reported that in Crete there is an Olive tree that is at least 2,000 years old.

So to be like an Olive tree is a good thing; it means to me that I am useful, have many good benefits and longevity. This can also mean that I am stable and reliable. I am sure that if a tree can stand the test of time for 2,000 years, it has seen some storms; but the Olive tree has proven that it can persevere.

With all the dreadful news going on now, it can be very disheartening. Bad news about the economy, families falling apart and violence on a rampage, it can make you fearful; even afraid to venture out of your front door. But this scripture says that “I trust in the mercy of God”. Is that how the Olive tree withstood the test of time?

God’s mercy endures forever, so even in these dangerous times we must trust in that mercy and wait on Him. To whom else can we turn? He alone is our refuge and strength. He has proven Himself over and over again…as the scripture says “…He has done it” and “His name is good”

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hosanna in the Highest

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Matthew 21:6-11

Today we recognize what we call "Palm Sunday". It was a day of Celebration when the people honored Jesus. Even though less than a week later some of those same people yelled "Crucify Him".
We know that His crucifixtion was all for a reason, but still as I reflect on the series of events as written in the Bible, it is a somber time. A time when I remember how yes, they cheered Him and laid down thier cloaks and branches for His entrance into town, but also how they turned on Him. How later they beat Him, spat on Him and called Him names.
My Savior, their Savior never pointed an accusing finger at them and cursed them to eternal damnation for treating Him that way. But He humbly endured the shame and the pain so they we could have eternal life with Him.
Lord I pray today as we honor you on this "Palm Sunday" that I will not be like the crowd back then that turned on You later. That I will not deny You before men when I am uncorfortable about sharing my faith. That I will not allow the enemy of my soul to draw me away from You. That I will always have praise in my heart for You crying "Hosanna, Hosanna!" Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rainy Day

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills." Psalms 147:7-8

Today started off as a dreary, rainy day. Yuk! Now don't get me wrong I like the rain...sorta...I mean we need it for the flowers, grass and to replenish the rivers etc, etc. But getting wet by cold rain and a gray sky are not my most favorite things.
I won't let the weather dictate my attitude today though. I will try my best to be bright and cheery. There was a song (Now I'm telling my age) that the group the Fifth Dimension used to sing back during the 70's called "Let the Sunshine In" and it went like this: "Let the sunshine, let the sunshine, the sunshine in." Now that tune will be going around and around in my head ALL DAY!

It's going to be a great day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A sign of the times...

I very seldom listen to the news on TV or read the newspaper, but with everything being on the Internet it's hard to miss it! Headlines about whole families being murdered, churches and nursing homes being invaded by crazed's heart breaking!
Am I the only one feeling like these incidents have escalated over the last couple of years or what? Just this morning as I traveled my regular route to work, I saw flashing blue and red lights and as I got closer I saw where the police had pulled someone over and it appeared they were in the process of handcuffing him!
I mean I'm not a novice to seeing all this kind of stuff and am not ignorant to the fact that in this world "things happen", but it seems to me that it is happening more often than it used to.
The Word of God tells us not to fear, that the Lord is with us. Psalms 22 talks about how our ancestors trusted in God and were NEVER disappointed. This is what I must keep in my mind and heart during these troubled times.