Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
3 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
4 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
5 Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
6 O seed of Abraham His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
7 He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac,
10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the allotment of your inheritance,”
12 When they were few in number,
Indeed very few, and strangers in it.
13 When they went from one nation to another,
From one kingdom to another people,
14 He permitted no one to do them wrong;
Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,
15 Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”
16 Moreover He called for a famine in the land;
He destroyed all the provision of bread.
Beloved, I am beyond tired these days. It is more a bone-deep weariness, and feels like I’m treading mud.
I’ve written before about the chronic pain illnesses I live with daily—Fibromyalgia (FMS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), and daily migraines. The pain that goes along with these wears me out very easily. Summer is my worst season because of the effects of our monsoon weather, and heat also exacerbates my symptoms.
Earlier this summer I thought that sharing blog posts from other authors would be a good way for me to cut down on my computer and internet time during this season, but in fact, it has made things worse. Maybe that’s because I’ve been posting something everyday, but I receive so many great devotionals by email and enjoy sharing them with you. That still translates into more time spent working on my blog.
I thought that I was on the right track because I was doing the work of the Lord but He has been nudging me for several weeks about this. Yesterday I finally got it.
I have been so focused on the work of the Lord that I’ve neglected the Lord of the work.
In my typical overly-ambitious way, I believed that the more I shared about God and how He enables us to live with joy, faith and hope, the more I was doing what He has planned for me right now. But that is apparently not His plan at all—whether that means just for now, or for the unforeseeable future.
My sweet hubby, Rick, has been cautioning me to cut down on my computer and writing time, but I always assured him that I was following the Lord’s leading. I should have listened more closely to Rick’s counsel. He knows me best and completely understands my limitations, and he is the head of our household and my spiritual leader. Why do I so often have to learn things the hard way?
So here’s the deal. For an unknown period of time, I need to go back to posting only three times per week: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. I have already scheduled posts for tomorrow and this coming Monday and Tuesday, but after that I’ll begin the Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday schedule. Please bear with me because for probably a month most of those posts will be reblogs of some of my earlier posts.
Beloved, thank you for your understanding. I covet your prayers.
1 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.
2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
he dries up all the rivers;
Bashan and Carmel wither;
the bloom of Lebanon withers.
5 The mountains quake before him;
the hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
the world and all who dwell in it.
6 Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
7 The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
8 But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,[a]
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
9 What do you plot against the Lord?
He will make a complete end;
trouble will not rise up a second time.
10 For they are like entangled thorns,
like drunkards as they drink;
they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
11 From you came one
who plotted evil against the Lord,
a worthless counselor.
12 Thus says the Lord,
“Though they are at full strength and many,
they will be cut down and pass away.
Though I have afflicted you,
I will afflict you no more.
13 And now I will break his yoke from off you
and will burst your bonds apart.”
14 The Lord has given commandment about you:
“No more shall your name be perpetuated;
from the house of your gods I will cut off
the carved image and the metal image.
I will make your grave, for you are vile.”
When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter
and our tongue with joyful shouting;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
Restore our captivity, O Lord,
as the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
he who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.1
It seemed too good to be true that they were able to return to Jerusalem. It was like a dream—they couldn’t believe it. Now they want to give a testimony to the world.
The remnant of Israel that returned to their land after the Babylonian captivity does not exhaust the meaning of this psalm. It also looks forward to their national restoration when their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns.
Let me quote Dr. Gaebelein’s comment at the conclusion of this Psalm. “Beautiful is the ending of this Psalm of prophecy. We must think first of all of Him who came in humility and sowed His precious seed with tears, our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Only His Father knows the many tears which He shed in His presence in secret prayer . . . And it is perfectly proper to apply this to ourselves also. So let us weep and scatter the seed! ‘Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not’ (Gal. 6:9)” (The Book of Psalms, p. 456).2
I decided the other day that I’m going to change my Sunday posts to Sunday Praise and Worship. Many of us cannot make it to church for health, work or other reasons. I often have health issues that keep me home from church, and if you’re like me, you miss being able to sing your praises in a worship service with fellow believers. These Sunday Praise and Worship posts will include Scripture passages of praise and worship, and praise songs in video format, with a link to the lyrics. For copyright purposes, I cannot share the complete lyrics in my blog posts.
So last Sunday we sang “We Fall Down“ at church. This is another praise and worship song that never fails to make my eyes leak. As I sit here writing this post, I am listening to Chris Tomlin sing this and need to stop often to wipe my eyes.
How can we not be totally impressed, awed and thankful as we ponder the utter holiness of Jesus?
And we cry holy, holy, holy
We cry holy, holy, holy
We cry holy, holy, holy
Is the lamb
We read the prophecy in Isaiah 6:1-3
1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.
2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one called out to another and said,
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
One day we’ll see the fulfillment as prophesied in Revelation 4:5-11
5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.
7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.
8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty,
who was and who is and who is to come.”
9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
Beloved, what a joyous day it will be when we can witness and be a part of this! Every time I sing this song, I imagine how glorious it will be to worship with the angels, singing “Holy, Holy, Holy!”
Two years ago today, 19 brave Granite Mountain Hotshots perished in the Yarnell wildfire. You can read my posts about that here and here. Those of us who have firefighters in our families never forget that every day they are on shift they put their lives in danger without worrying that they may be badly injured or even die while fighting a fire.
Please remember and pray for the families of these 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots today.
I am blessed and privileged to know several firefighters. All of them—and I know this holds true for all firefighters—put their lives on the line every time they suit up in their turnouts. Whether on the job or in their personal lives, they are selfless and giving people who always seem to think of others before themselves. They are the embodiment of 1 John 3:16:
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
The collage below shows the long funeral procession in which 19 white hearses were accompanied by fire and police vehicles. The lines of people on both sides of the highway spanned miles.
The memorial service took place in Prescott, close to where we live, and Rick and I were privileged to open our home to my son, Alan, along with Justin and Zane, two firefighter buddies from Dallas Fire Department who are also members of the Dallas Pipes & Drums. Each of them attended and were involved in the memorial service, along with many, many others.
We cannot forget another brave member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew, Brandon McDonough, the sole survivor. Brandon read “The Hot Shot’s Prayer“ during the memorial service:
When I am called to duty, Lord …
To fight the roaring blaze …
Please keep me safe and strong …
I may be here for days.
Be with my fellow crew members …
As we hike up to the top.
Help us cut enough line …
For this blaze to stop.
Let my skills and hands …
Be firm and quick.
Let me find those safety zones …
As we hit and lick.
For if this day on the line …
I should answer death’s call …
Lord, bless my hot shot Crew …
My family, one and all.
I want to thank all firefighters for their unselfish and giving service, even though that never sounds adequate to express what’s in my heart. God bless you and your families with His everlasting love and peace…