Psalm 40

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”

I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”

16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.

When you just need an ear…

It always seems as if the enemy is gaining in the war on sin. With every attack his only goal is to knock us down, to shake our foundation, to shatter our faith (steal, kill, destroy). When the unthinkable happens my first thought is..why, Lord?

I tell myself it’s not God that makes mistakes. It’s His children that make bad choices, that choose not to be obedient. I inevitably question my own walk, my own committment to the living God. Ultimately, I ask myself…”Did I not impress upon my loved ones the ways of God sufficiently to have avoided this horrible incident?” 

(RM) “Sometimes my life makes no sense!” That’s what I say. When I read that

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:26-28).”

Hearing the news…I cry out, Lord, I don’t know what to pray. 

The world does not know what it wants! It’s quite evident in the lives of many individuals. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the impenitent sin of the people, complete deviation. Our society is heading south very quickly and moral absolutes are no more. 

Rich Mullins sang, “I am ready for the storm…” As I sit and listen to him sing this song, I am telling myself…”NO, I am not ready for this storm! Lord. 

The storms of life can be devastating on so many levels.  As believers we turn to our God knowing full well that the battle has already been won. The enemy has been destroyed. He may try to shake our foundation, but the Lord is our rock and He is not shaken. He is not moved.

We are in this world, but we are not of this world, and though we must confront the enemy we hold on to the promise of God that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. Still, we need to confess our doubts and fears, and our unbelief so that the Lord can minister to us, so the Lord can work in us and through us, so the Lord can meet us where we are and give us peace.  

Oh Lord…guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

Thankful – Grateful – Helpless – Humbled

Today is my baby sister’s birthday. She is 53 today, which makes me old. This year I turn the big 55…older than I ever imagined..at age 12, when I truly believed I would not live past the age of 18, but I did, because God had plans for my life. But that’s a story for another day. IMG_0004

Anyway, the last couple of days, I was in Austin to help celebrate her birthday. She wanted us (her older sisters) to join her on a trip to Fredericksburg, a quaint little town, touristy, in the beautiful Texas hill country. Anyway, we were driving there from Austin, where my sister lives. Well, we took of early Wednesday morning from Austin. The wind was piercing. The temperature was not at freezing, but it sure felt like it!!! That arctic blast brought with it some harsh winds. Burrr!

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Austin, bring out the heavy gear. It’s cold!

Before heading on to Fredricksburg, we made a stop in Blanco to pick up our older sister.  She had driven up from Pearsall to visit her daughter in Blanco, so we planned to pick her up there instead of her driving to Austin. She’s an older driver, yup…74. 

Before heading out of Austin we had to make a couple of stops. So we’re driving on I 35, traffic is horrible, typical for Austin, that we almost missed our exit to Slaughter Creek. 

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Now, we are on the access road, traffic is just as bad. We are coming up to the light and we’re all chanting “Stay green, stay green.” As we are driving across the light I notice this young man, Anglo, sitting, just huddled up on the pavement, covering his face with his hands and rubbing his forehead with his fingers. It looked like he was crying. I imagine he was one of many homeless in Austin. On the next corner I saw a couple more homeless guys holding their signs asking for help, but they did not move my spirit as this young man had. It was a quick glimpse at frustration and desperation over uncontrollable circumstances, so dismayed, that he couldn’t even bring himself to show his face, much less beg for help. Being homeless, perhaps he thought no one would even notice, but God saw him.

He wasn’t holding any visible cardboard sign. Maybe he wasn’t even homeless, just a desperate soul that could not walk another foot. I can’t really say. Nevertheless, my heart went out to this man and I started praying for him. We were on the far right lane of a one way street, so even if he had been begging for help, we would have been unable to stop. At quick glance I thought..”Dear Jesus, what could have transpired in this young man’s life to bring him to this street corner on such a cold morning, with only a light jacket to keep him warm?” I could feel the tears starting to fall, but I just kept praying for the young man. If my sisters noticed this man, neither one said anything, but then again… I didn’t either. I just took my concern to the Lord.

As I was praying for this man I was reminded of my own circumstances. And I thought…”Lord, these days…it doesn’t take much to send individuals and families spiraling into the abyss of despair.” It’s tragic. I was ever so thankful for God’s mercy. My economic circumstances could have left me in much the same dire circumstances, and in all reality they have, but God is merciful.  I was grateful for the people the Lord had placed around me to sustain me in my difficult times. Only the living God can do that. 

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I was helpless to help this man, but I was confident that if God had brought me here to see this man in his desperation, that He had a plan for that man and He just needed someone to stand in the gap for him, which is all I could do. Helpless as I am…God is always able. We never know when God is going to use us, or in what capacity, so we always have to be prepared.

Sometimes God just wants someone to stand in the gap. Rich Mullins sang about holding himself accountable as his brother’s keeper. Give a listen. Be blessed. As one humbly resting in the arms of the Savior, give thanks.   

Sing your praise to the Lord! Some days are just Rich Mullins kinda days…

The trials of today are more than one can handle, but Jesus who sits enthroned on high…looks upon me (us) with nothing but love and says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) Praise God! “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23

These days, surrounded by Christians to busy to give a fellow believer a moment of encouragement, I am thankful that God always hears my cry. I may be the only believer in need of encouragement, the only believer that continually wrestles with her faith, never denying the power, or the supremacy of the Almighty, nevertheless, struggling to understand the ways and the things of God. “For who has known the mind of the LordOr who has become His counselor?” (Rom. 11:34) We cannot possibly fathom the things of the Almighty.

I can see Him breathing in the sacrifices of praise. Can you supersize that? He asks. As the world pulls the Christian closer to itself, the things of God are drowned out by the white noise of an evil world. In its rapacious need to suck out every ounce of energy from those consumed with the relentless pursuit of the things of the world, the Christian begins to resemble Van Gogh’s famous painting. Seeking the things of God becomes just another social obligation, if that, but with empty repetitious jargon that offers little but outward comfort.  tumblr_ndqufjM68D1svquxio1_500

I started this blog because I wanted to share my experiences, my thoughts, things the Lord has shown me as a believer… living in what feels like…well, the last days. Every generation of believers thought they were living in the last days.  Still, with all the natural disasters, violence, wars, famines, disease…it’s hard not to believe otherwise.

This world has always been a crazy place but never has the craziness been so blatant, where wrong is right and good is bad and evil has the best of the best marketing plans from top notch companies. And fellow believers join the crowds at the local hot spots for a night of everything licentious. (Not judging just noting my observations) “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13)

Lately all sense of morality seems to be…well..relative. In today’s post modern thought, morality is the one thing that we can do without…every man for himself. There are no more absolutes is what one man says. My bible says different, but even my granddaughter has challenged me on certain moral issues.  The message she brings home is that “There’s nothing wrong with it, grandma.” Some of her friends have already lost their innocence and more. Lack of acceptance of “traditional moral values” is not a bad thing. That’s what I am hearing.  What?! Did I hear that right?  All sorts of things once considered perverse have gained approval, if not praise from those that have this notion that, “If it feels good, just do it!” That used to be the advertising slogan for Nike, now it’s been applied to our morality. How far can man take that notion? Have you heard of Peter Singer?  There’s a big problem here…if there are no moral absolutes…where is the line drawn between right and wrong…acceptable and unacceptable? No absolutes = everything is permissible. That’s where many young minds appear to be headed. Praise God that ” There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.” (Pro. 19:21)

There was a time when making out was reserved for behind the bleachers, or the broom closet…any private place really, not to say that it was acceptable “out of sight”, but teens used “discretion.” Whether it was brought on by shame, the fear of getting caught, or disappointing mom or dad…there was this sense of right and wrong. What happened? When did shame, fear or respect become a bad thing? Was shame the emotion that kept us in check, that kept us from going over the abyss of depravity?

“Making out”, well…it was accepted as part of the growing up experience…by many, but certainly not all, at least that was my experience. Making out (Public display of affection a.k.a. PDA) is just another thing many Americans have became desensitized to, especially the ones that encourage a healthy development about all things human (that’s another topic for another day). I think it’s more tolerance though, than acceptance, but I could be wrong. These days, I’ve heard of 12 & 13 y/o girls being put on birth control. I’m like, “Her mom did what?!”  It was disturbing when my daughter’s pediatrician recommended I put my 13 y/o daughter on birth control and that was 16 years ago.

Lately, it appears young teens, boy/girl, girl/girl could care less where they make out and could care less if anyone watches. I caught a quick glimpse of girl/girl as I drove by one of the local high schools. It’s on a major thoroughfare, so these two were quite visible.  Mind you… I am not any more prudish than the next grandma, but I was like “What the heck?” truly a knee jerk reaction. And it could have been triggered by my granddaughter’s presence. She was in the car with me. She was out of school that day.  Of course…it also proved to be an opening for a very touchy subject. Yup, you guessed it.

My granddaughter was telling me the kids (assorted couples) at her school do it everywhere. “They don’t care grandma and the teachers don’t tell them anything. They even did when I was in jr high.” she said. And now according to my granddaughter, it’s not just the opposite sex we have to be concerned with, she has to fight off active pursuit from both sexes.  It was bad enough having to worry about boys. Well, I said, “I do hope you have more respect for yourself than to put yourself up on display like that.” “I do, grandma. Don’t worry.” she says. “Hmm”, I thought. Can you guess…I took my concerns to the Cross. I know my granddaughter will tell me what I want to hear, so I won’t worry. She’s 14 and very pretty, and smart, so I pray for her constantly. She is under tremendous pressure to submit to every fleshly desire.  I’ve asked her often about her experiences in school and the subject had come up, but again she reassures me that she is concentrating on academics and dance.  Also, I review her social media sites. I read aghast, wondering if parents know what their teens are posting. Most posts are rated R. We have a hard time keeping her off social media sites, so we keep tabs on her sites. My dear friend’s 11 y/o granddaughter has also been falling prey to similar pressures. I was working on my friends tablet and came across some very provocative pictures of her granddaughter. I’m like…”NOOOO!” she’s only 11!

Well, living in these crazy times, surely crazier than when I was young…well…as a believer…it tests the very foundation of my faith. I try to stay vigilant and pray without ceasing for my children, and my grandchildren. My oldest grandson is in the third day. His dad plays the intermittent dad and his step-dad…well…I pray for my grandson.  I don’t have any experience with boys, so I am just dreading…the 5th grade.

I know full well that God does not like people to waver in their faith, but God is so patient and so merciful and so gracious with this wretched woman. I can only imagine how it must hurt and offend God when I doubt. It’s like being unfaithful to the most wonderful husband. Help me with my unbelief, my Lord. You are my God. “I may falter in my faith, but never beyond your reach…” Rich Mullins.

If indeed we are in the last days, we must be ever so watchful and if not, we should be living as if…becoming more Christ like everyday. I don’t know if everyone here believes likewise…in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Savior…the only road to God. I can only hope, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18)

Sing your praise to the Lord, for He is good! Be blessed.