Praises: Psalm 93

I’ve been working a lot recently, so much so I haven’t felt I’ve had much time for writing.  I was barely getting by reading my bible every day.  After a while that starts to take a toll on you, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy your job.  I kept finding myself getting discouraged and angry almost every day.  Then one day, my dad had me listen to a podcast.  I don’t remember who it was or what the podcast was (if I find out I’ll put a link in the comments), but it really brought my focus back to where it should be.  The speaker was a woman pastor, and she was talking about worshipping God and how important that is throughout all aspects of life.  It was so very encouraging and reminded me that I needed to be focusing on God, because He is my King and my strength.  He’s the one that will get me through every day, not me.

 

Almost a week later I read Psalm 93 in my daily reading.  You can almost hear it as a song, someone singing praises to God and putting fully their trust in their King.  It describes Him as being established on His throne, robed in splendor, and around His belt is the strength that holds all things together.  And All things join together to praise Him.  And then it concludes that because of His kingship, strength, and worthiness of praise, we can trust that what He decrees is good, and He will be a good King forever and ever.  Reading it just makes my heart swell with praise!

I hope this Psalm encourages you today!

 

1             “The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty;

The LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.

Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

2              Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3              The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice;

The floods lift up their roaring.

4              Mightier than the thunders of many waters,

Mightier than the waves of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty!

5              Your decrees are very trustworthy;

Holiness befits your house,

O LORD, forevermore.”

Lean on the LORD, He will help you through today.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  Thanks for encouraging me to focus on God!

Food For Thought: Praise the LORD

1Praise the Lord.a  Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord2Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.  3From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”  ~Psalm 113

This week, I didn’t really feel like praising God.  I was tired from work and several times felt to be in a bad mood.  After snapping at my sister, I felt guilty, and I started wondering, ‘Why am I like this?’  Sure, I could use the excuse of being tired, but that really meant nothing.  In all actuality being tired was partially my fault because I was staying up too late, even though I knew I hadn’t been sleeping well.  So why was I so grumpy?  Was it really just lack of sleep?

No, it wasn’t.  Because the other thing I’d been neglecting was real bible reading and true prayer.  I’d been avoiding real intimate time with God, and therefore I wasn’t being fed the way I should.  So I read the bible.

The first passage I read was Psalm 112.  In the very first verse it says, “1Praise the Lord.b  Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.”  It says that we are blessed who take delight in the Word of the LORD.  And the rest of psalm talks of the benefits of following and trusting in Him.  I was encouraged that I can indeed follow Him.

The next day I read Revelation 5.  This day I grew especially excited.  This is the chapter where an angel asks if there is anyone who can open the scroll, but no one is found who can.  John weeps because of this, but then he is told that the lion of Judah is here who can open the scroll.  So he looks and there is a lamb who was slain who is worthy to open the scroll.  And then the rest of the chapter is of everyone singing praises to Him.

Now I’ve read this chapter before, but this time something new jumped out at me.  It was the progression of worship.  The first to sing are the four living creatures and the elders, and we’re told that they sing a new song.  The song begins like this: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain,”.  Suddenly, a huge crowd of angels appears.  It’s like they heard the song and grew excited by it, because they sing a song of their own that echoes the first.  It goes like this: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” And then we are told that all the creatures on earth sing, excited by the song of the angels.  “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”  And this final song causes the four living creature to say “Amen!” and the elders to fall down and worship.

Can you sense it?  The excitement, the worship?  Can you see how one song was bounced around, causing more and more to lift their voices in praise to God?  I can, and it fills my heart with joy.  I want to be among those who praise Him forever from no matter where I happen to be, as the passage in Psalm 113 says.

Will you join me and all of creation?

My Dragon

The dragon’s eye
Looked deep into mine
A heart of gold
I saw there
Mountains of riches
And spirit of fire
A creature of glory
Warrior of valor

I stared deep
Into his eyes
I saw a land
Worth dying for
I long to be there
To dance in the beauty
But I know
I am so unworthy
So unholy

The dragon’s eye
Stared deep into mine
I fear to think
What he saw there
Darkness within
And a barren wasteland
Filled with the cravings
Of a fool
Filled with the excuses of a coward
So unworthy
So unholy
Not worth dying for

His mouth opened wide
He breathed in deep
I knew my just judgment
Was upon me
Somehow to die
By such a being
Was an honor in and of itself
Though I was going to die
For all the wickedness I’d committed
I knew I deserved
The fire

He blew out a breath
Of hot steam
That fell on me
In rainbows
And my eyes were opened
And I saw again
In his glorious eyes
The land of glory
But this time
I saw the true treasure
I saw the King
My eyes have seen
The King
Clothed in rainbows
A living fire within
His pierced hands
Of mercy
His lips of truth
His eyes of forgiveness
And His mighty strength
His goodness
Holiness
His justice
And unfailing love

He beckoned with a
Royal hand
“Come,” He said
“To the Promised Land
I have given you My Spirit
A Spirit of fire
And valor
With these pierced hands
Of mercy
I’ve pierced your sins
With these lips of truth
I have made it known
With My eyes of forgiveness
I’ve looked on you
My child
My worthy child
My holy child
I’ve given you Me
I’ve given you peace.”

And so
With a bow of my head,
I turn from myself
And enter the world again
Always to worship in the
Cave of the Blessed One
I go to the world
Proclaim the Good News
With the strength He’s given
Strength of a thousand dragons
With this vision always before me:
A land of beauty
Of peace
Of glory
And thanksgiving
And the daily bending of the knee
And casting down our golden crowns
And filling our holy mouths
With praises
To our King
Whom we approach with confidence
And with boldness
And truth
To see Him fully and completely
For all eternity

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I lam making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and she will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” ~Revelation 21

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” ~2 Timothy 1

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” ~Matthew 28

“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.” ~Revelation 4

My Meditating: 1 Samuel 1

This is an older poem I wrote that is a part of a bigger group of poems I wrote while reading 1 Samuel. This one was based on the first chapter. I hope it encourages you!

Worship
1 Samuel 1

Oh LORD
Comfort Your servant
I am in great misery
I am mocked
On every side
Because of what
You did not give me

I know I am loved
I know the God I serve
But when I come
To worship
I cannot at all
Because of my shame
I am downcast

Lord look upon me
And remember my misery
I know it is You
Who gives and
Takes away
If You are merciful
And give to me
Then I will offer it up to You
And I will worship You
In Your temple
Forever

Praise the LORD
He’s answered my prayer
Praise the LORD
He’s provided
And comforted His servant
I will enter His temple
Unashamed
I will rejoice
Worship the LORD!
Worship the LORD!

If anything hinders
Your worship of Him
Pray to the LORD
He will surely answer
And You will not be kept from
His holy presence long
Worship the LORD!

“There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”

The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.” Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”

And he worshiped the Lord there.”
~1 Samuel 1