Tuesday, August 18, 2015

They have fixed the road so the hubcaps don't fly off into the desert.

Be cheerful — no matter what;
pray — all the time;
thank God — no matter what happens.
This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Word of God refreshes my soul; it is trustworthy; it makes wise the simple; it gives joy to my heart; it gives light to my eyes; it helps me see and deal with my hidden faults and it is more precious than gold and sweeter than honey to my taste. Psalm 19

So Jack spoke this Sunday at Vineyard City Church, and his sermon on the Psalms tied in neatly with Thessalonians that I rode up Sentential Peak with that morning.

The Psalms are expressions of the human heart. The Psalms show and tell us that God loves us and that He wants us to be free and open with Him, and the Psalms are built on the understanding of God revealing Himself to man.
We are to meditate on God’s word: to receive His word, think about it and its true meaning and what does it mean to me. And after that, to wonder, How can I share it?

His sweet presence comforts me in all my troubles; His promise revives me.  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

God is personal, He makes a promise (I WILL), He sees my situation, He gives concrete help (instruction and counsel). This brings comfort and encouragement.

And this morning, there was certainly a theme to the fixed hours liturgy:
Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! how pleasant it is to honor Him with praise! Psalm 147:1

It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High; To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning and of your faithfulness in the night season. Psalm 92:1–2

For we are your people and the sheep of your pasture; we will give you thanks for ever and show forth your praise from age to age. Psalm 79:13

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23

This weekend up at the cabin I started up my 1000 gifts list again. As I watched the sunrise seep through those so very reaching upward pines. Scott stretched out in a hammock nearby. A little skunk scuttled back and forth. Everette was sleeping late with momma and daddy inside. 

I shall not want.

And every morning I step into Imago Dei, the tiny Episcopal school for low-income students squeezed between the parking lot and the historical barber shop downtown, and I run up the stairs to get the Trader Joe bag for the phones, run down the stairs to turn on the big toaster and to start pouring juices. After breakfast we line up and walk into the sacred place next door. And give thanks to God. And confess our sins:
Almighty and merciful God,
we have sinned against you,
in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with all our heart.
We have not loved others
as our Saviour Christ loves us.
We are truly sorry.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be;
that we may delight in your will
and walk in your ways,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

I have sinned.

It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD.


And Alan and I and the little Safari drove Manuel over Gate’s Pass yet again. Just before San Xavier del Bac mission and El Guerro Canelo. The new student from Naples. And he breathed in deeply as the sun did a bright orange red sink through the clouds. And behind all of the darkening prickliness pointed upward. And he whispered, “I have never seen anything so beautiful before.”

                                          photo by Bryan DeJonghe, same night, same place


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness.