Sunday, July 30, 2017

Psalm 54

The Lord Upholds My Life

O God, save me, by your name, and vindicate me by your might. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.

For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves.

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good. For he has delivered me from every trouble; and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? You uphold my life. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Psalm 53

There Is None That Does Good

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. 

God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, Let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? May I never be like the fool! God, also, I ask that You continue to intervene on behalf of the least of these. Whether it regards healthcare issues or budgets, the republicans are relentless monsters trying to inflict harm. The vote the other night failed, but they are right back after it again. Please safeguard the least of these and continue to intervene. 

Thank You! 

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Quick Prayer

Dear God,

Please intervene tonight on behalf of the least of these and block the republicans who are trying to vote on a very bad bill regarding healthcare and the protections for the least of these. Healthcare has become a VERY personal matter for me. Please do not let the republicans get away with murder. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Monday, July 24, 2017

Psalm 52

The Steadfast Love of God Endures

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, "See the man who would not make God his refuge, but insisted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!" 

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? The evil will be broken down forever. I will take comfort in that. The monsters who are trying to take healthcare and resources from the least of these will be broken down forever. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Psalm 51

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in your right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? Mercy. Steadfast love. Cleanse me from my sins. Wash me whiter than snow. Create a clean heart in me. Restore to me the joy of salvation. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Psalm 50

God Himself Is Judge

The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. 

Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people: "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!" The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!

"Hear, O my people, I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God. Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me. I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. 

"If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."

But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers.

"You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

"Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver! The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!" 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? You are judge. You and only You. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

God Is Your Life

"...loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your father's, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." - Deuteronomy 30:20

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. - Zephaniah 3:17

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him, God is a refuge for us. - Psalm 62:8

Dear God, 

Help me to stay close to You all the time. Listening and loving are important to all relationships. Help me receive Your love fully. Don't let go of my hand. You are refuge. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Psalm 49

Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?

Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together! My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre. 

Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit. 

For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.

This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell. But God will ransom my soul form the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.

Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed,—and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? That men like Trump who boast in their riches and try to gain more riches at the expense of the least of these will end up going down to hell in the end. And that the least of these will actually one day rule over men like Trump. I take some comfort in that.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Psalm 48

Zion, the City of Our God

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress. 

For behold, the kings assembled, they came on together. As soon as they saw it, they were astounded; they were in panic; they took to flight. Trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in labor. By the east wind you shattered the ships of Tarshish. As we have heard, so we have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God, which God will establish forever.

We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness. Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments! 

Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? That Your love is steadfast. I will grab that now and ask again that You continue to intervene on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets in this country. Now the republicans are again threatening full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. What they don't understand and what the CBO is not reporting to them is the number of people who do not buy insurance through the exchanges and buy insurance directly through insurance companies. A repeal would have the effect of over 300 million people being negatively impacted rather than just 22 million. God, these republicans are making me sick to my stomach and I am sorry I ever voted for republicans at any point in my short voting life. They claim to be prolife yet are more than happy to throw people in need off their insurance plans! And yes, for some of us, we would die if we did not have insurance. Because the drug companies have priced their products so high that those of us on life sustaining medications would never be able them without insurance! Mom says, "we'll find a way." But the way is impossible with limited income. We would have to lose our home and everything in it to have the way to afford the medicine every month if I lost insurance. The republicans are pissing me off, God. And I know that word is a strong word, but sometimes strong words are needed to drive the point home. Every delay on the votes for the worse than the ACA bills. Every no vote. Every failed vote. Every not going to happen vote. Those are answered prayers to me God. Because I pray for You to intervene on behalf of the least of these in this matter. I am praying Your heart that I read about in the words of Jesus and in the Bible. I hand this over to You again. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Monday, July 17, 2017

Psalm 47

God Is King over All the Earth

Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. 

God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! 

God reigns over the nation's; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? You are a great king over all the earth. God, please intervene on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets in this country. Please do not let the republicans hurt them. Please keep them from repealing the ACA. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Psalm 46

God Is Our Fortress

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 

There is a rover whose streams makes glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with Fire. "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? That You are refuge and strength. That You are a very present help in trouble. God, that being said, please continue to intervene on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets. Do not let the republicans screw things up for the least of these. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' name, 

Amen

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Psalm 45

Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. 

You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty! In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; the peoples fall under you. 

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of righteousness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father's house, and he king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people. 

All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.

In place of your father's shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever. 

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? There is pain. Much much pain. Pain I cannot fathom or even come close to understanding. I am broken this week. I am seeking. I have no answers. I have no bad news either. But I have no answers. I am afraid. God, I am turning it all over to You and asking again that You keep intervening on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets. God, help us who have pain and fears. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Psalm 44

Come to Our Help

O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old; you with your own hand drove out the nations, but them you planted; you afflicted the peoples, but them you set free; for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them.

You are my King, O God; ordain salvation for Jacob! Through you we push down our foes; through your name we tread down those who rise up against us. For not on my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me. But you have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us. In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. 

But you have rejected us and disgraced us and have not gone out with our armies. You have made us turn back from the foe, and those who hate us have gotten spoil. You have made us like sheep for slaughter and have scattered us among the nations. You have sold your people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them. You have made us the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and scorn of those around us. You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples. All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face at the sound of the taunted and reviler, at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way; yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death. If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would onto Hod discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. 

Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject is forever! Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground. Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love! 

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? I have not a clue what this passage really means. Or its relevance. Please just be with Your children.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen


Psalm 43

Send Out Your Light and Your Truth

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? Will You vindicate the least of these and defend them against those in D.C. who wish to harm them? 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Psalm 42

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts fro God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me continually, "Where is your God?" These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock; "Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, "Where is your God?" 

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? God, where are You? Where are You int he midst of the suffering? Whether my own or whether that of another? Where are You? Are You going to keep intervening on behalf of the least of these in this country with regard to healthcare and budgets? Because without Your intervention, the least of these is in great trouble right now. God, did I do something so bad that You would abandon me when I am most in need? Did I do something to deserve what is happening to me what now? God, I am terrified. Help me. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Psalm 41

O Lord, Be Gracious to Me

Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lor dprotects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to health. 

As for me, I said, "O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!" My enemies say of me in malice, "When will he die and his name perish?" And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.

They say, "A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies." Even my close friends in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them! 

By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. 

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Osrael, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? God, You protect the poor. You sustain the poor. That being said, please continue to intervene on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets in this country. Please do not let the programs that help the poor and the disabled and the elderly and the veterans be harmed. Please deal with those who seek to harm the least of these. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Monday, July 10, 2017

Psalm 40

My Help and My Deliverer

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. 

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. 

Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, "Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is written on my heart." 

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. 

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. 

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! Let those be put to shame and disappointment altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt! Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, "Aha, Aha!" 

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the Lord!" As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? Today, I am asking again that You continue to intervene on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets in this country. Not one of us should have to worry about having unmet needs in these departments. Please keep intervening. This I bring to You again today as I worry that I may have had another rupture. Although I certainly hope it is just a routine flare up. Either way, I am glad to have insurance right now. Proper insurance. Something I would not be able to have if the republicans screw things up like they are trying to do now. So, God, please intervene. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Psalm 39

What Is the Measure of My Days?

I said, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence." I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse. My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:

"O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few hand breadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool! I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. Remove your stroke form me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand. When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath!

"Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my father's. Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!" 

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? Oh to trust You the way David trusted You! Help me, God. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Psalm 38

Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath! For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me. 

There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness, I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning. For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stand far off.

Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long. 

But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear; like a mute man who does not open his mouth. I have become like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes.

But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. For I said, "Only let them not rejoice over me, who boast against me when my foot slips!"

For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good. 

Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation! 

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? Grief sucks. It makes you feel alone. It makes you feel unwanted. It brings you to your knees. God, I ask You to continue to intervene on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets. I ask that You continue to not allow the republicans to hurt them. I ask that You prick their hearts and souls through and through if they make further attempts to hurt the least of these in those areas. I ask not just for myself but for all of the least of these. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Friday, July 7, 2017

Psalm 37

He Will Not Forsake His Saints

Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! 

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. 

In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. 

The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming. 

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright; their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 

Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of the wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance. 

But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives; for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing. 

Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the Lord loves Justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever. 

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. 

The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death. The Lord will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial. 

Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off. 

I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree. But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.

Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace. But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off. 

The salvation of the righteous is form the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lrod helps the, and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? I should not worry about or be jealous of those who do wrong. I should trust You and continue to do good things. I should be faithful. I should take joy in You. God, the main desire of my heart right now is that You continue to intervene on behalf of the least of these with regard to the proposed budget and healthcare. Continue to intervene in a huge way. I want to continue to trust that You will do as You promised for the least of these. You have been moving. Keep moving. I wait for You. Help me be more patient in that waiting for You. I am not worrying over the evil men in the Republican Party right now nor am I worrying over Trump. They do wicked things. They are of Your concern, not mine. God, work on me so I am less angry. Nothing good comes from anger! God, the mental image of You laughing at the wicked brings a smile to my face. God, there are crazy nuts rising up among those republicans. They are vengeful monsters. They have been try to bring more injustice to those in need. Protect us from them. Oh God, I pray that evil will indeed see Your wrath while the righteous enjoy Your provision. Many people say why should they pay taxes because the church should be taking care of those in need. They are greedy and do not like to pay taxes even though Your word does say to pay taxes. They also will not give generously on their own. The poor do give generously. They do not have that much to start with yet are willing to give what they are able to and they don't expect anything in return. You will not forsake me. You will provide. You will provide refuge when I seek it. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Psalm 36

How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love

Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed, he sets himself in a way that is not good, he does not reject evil.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord. 

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. 

Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? One thing I can say speaks to me about this passage is that I should NEVER EVER EVER EVER be anything like Trump of the republicans of today. Never. They devise wicked schemes against the least of these every day! They will not see You. The next thing I learn from this passage is that You have steadfast love, unwavering love. Please, God, I know I make mistakes, but I hope You cover me with Your love. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Psalm 35

Great Is the Lord

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help! Draw the spear and the javelin against my pursuers! Say to my soul, "I am your salvation!" 

Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me! Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the he angel of the Lord driving them away! Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them! 

For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life. Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it! And let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it—to his destruction!

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation. All my bones shall say, "O Lord, who is ,Ike you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?" 

Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft. But, I, when they were sick—I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning.

But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered; they gathered together against me; wretches whom I did not know tore at me without ceasing; like profane mockers at a feast, they gnash at me with their teeth.

How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions! I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you.

Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit. They open wide their mouths against me; they say, "Aha, Aha! our eyes have seen it!" 

You have seen, O Lord; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me! Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord! Vindicate me, O Lord, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me! Let them not say in their hearts, "Aha, our heart's desire!" Let them not say, "We have swallowed him up."

Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me!

Let those who d,eight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, "Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!" Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long. 

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? The enemies will be punished. The righteous will be saved. God, to be honest, I have no clue what this passage today is about. And I have no clue what lesson there might be in it. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Psalm 34

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good 

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! 

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is there who desires life and love many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. 

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? You help the righteous. You let the evil fall prey to their wickedness. God, may I be on the side of righteousness all my life. God, You hear the righteous. Please, keep intervening on behalf of the least of these with regard to healthcare and budgets in this country. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Psalm 33

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. 

For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

The Lord brings the counsel of the nation's to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever; the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on al the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? That You are always watching and loving.

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen

Psalm 32

Blessed Are the Forgiven

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose son is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to you, and o did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush  of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. 

I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, won't out understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! 

Dear God,

What would You have me learn from this passage? That those who ask for forgiveness will be forgiven. May I be forgiven for my sins. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Psalm 31

Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit

In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!

For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord. I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of my enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I a, in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.

Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. For I hear the whispering of many—terror on every side!—as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love! O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol. Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt. 

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.

Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. I had said in my alarm, "I am cut off from your sight." But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.

Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord! 

Dear God, 

What would You have me learn from this passage? That You protect those who believe in and trust in You from the harm of those who don't believe in You. God, keep protecting the least of these when it comes to healthcare and budgets in this country. We need that more now than ever. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' Name, 

Amen
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