Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One Thing

David has been dwelling in caves, and in the dry places.
He has faced death. In the midst of this God has given to
David a new perspective and it is not a focus on his
coming into the king position!

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that I will seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the 
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the
and to inquire (meditate) in his temple.
(Ps 27:4)

Many years ago this verse became my prayer. I had
come to the place where only one thing was necessary
and it was to know God. It is because of writing this
blog and getting into the psalms that I have re-
connected to this verse. As I sit on my deck listening
to the birds, feeling the breeze on my face, watching
the butterflies, the hummingbirds fighting over
the nectar, I bow and thank God who is the source
of all this beauty. He is life. He is my life.

Dear reader, who or what is the source of your life?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Something Has Shifted

In past psalms David has been moaning and groaning
over his enemies and his circumstances. In Psalm 27
we see that something has shifted in David. Life has
not changed; David has changed. He knows that these
escapes from his enemy are not because of his
brilliance, or strength. David is broken and in the midst
of his brokenness, he sings, he shouts, he dances. He is
transformed. He has taken his eyes off of his circumstances
and put them upon his Lord. I can hear him muttering
under his breath:

The Lord IS my light and my salvation.
The Lord is MY light and MY salvation.
The Lord is my LIGHT and my SALVATION.

Dear reader, perhaps brokenness is just the place where
God is going to reveal Himself to you in a new way.
Our losses, our afflictions are the vehicles God uses to
reveal His grace, mercy and love. This past weekend I
heard many stories from women who testified to the
goodness of the Lord in the midst of their afflictions.


Monday, July 29, 2013

A Jewel in the Darkness

Psalm 27 is a jewel of faith that shines forth from
David's life before circumstances have changed.
Perhaps he wrote it just after Saul pursued him
around the mountain, missing David by a hair, and
as David is breathing hard over the narrow escape
he bounds into the cave with his buddies and shouts:

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold (refuge)
of my life
of whom shall I be afraid?
Ps 27:1

David roars:

...Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet, I will be confident.
Ps 27:3

The Lord has given David the ability to see--but it
is through white hot trials--that God is his salvation.
His cave, his hiding place, is too easily betrayed. Only
God can be his stronghold. Only God can keep him

(See the blogs of last week to get the whole picture)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Did I Deserve This?

David is overwhelmed by his enemy who is "like
a lion tearing his soul apart, rending it to pieces,
with none to deliver." 
He asks a question:

"O Lord my God if I have done this, 
if there is wrong in my hands,

if I have repaid my friend with evil,
or plundered my enemy without cause,

Let the enemy pursue my soul and
overtake it.
Let him trample my life to the ground
and lay my glory in the dust.
Ps 7:3-5

I couldn't find the question marks, but David
is asking God why. One of the first things David 
explores before God is the issue of sin and what 
has he done to deserve the pain he is experiencing. 
His life has suddenly and irrevocably changed. 
His emotions will not lie down. He goes to God 
and he pours out his heart. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summarized Suffering

Here is a time line of suffering from 1Samuel 21-24:

1 David leaves the service of Saul with only the clothes 
   on his back, a few close friends, but not his best friend.

2 David stops to pick up bread from the priest at Nob on
    his way to Gath of the Philistines.

3 David escapes from Gath and goes to Adullum. His 
    family comes to him there as well as "everyone in 
    debt, distress, or in bitterness of soul,"about 6,000 men.

4 David goes to Mizpeh of Moab and asks the king to
    take care of his parents. Later he would write: "For 
    my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord
    will take me in." Ps 27:10

5 King Saul kills the priest, his family and all the men,
     women and children--even animals--at Nob. All
     because of bread! One son escapes and joins David.

6 The prophet Gad sends David to Judah for a purpose.

7 The purpose: David saves a town from death but the 
      people plan to give David over to Saul. Betrayal.

8 David moves to the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph.
      The Ziphites betray David to Saul.

9 David flees to the wilderness of Moan. He is discovered.

10 David flees to the wilderness of Engedi. 

Dear reader, if any of these events strike a cord in you, then
the psalms David wrote are your psalms also.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Suffering Mixes with Truth

The next set of psalms were penned during a time of
intense persecution, loss, and hopelessness. I was
amazed to find that David had written ten prayers,
for they are prayers, in the space of four chapters.
I am not sure how many months or even years that
those chapters covered.  See 1Samuel 21-24.
In Psalm 34 David states:

 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but, 
the Lord delivers him out of them all." 

Tomorrow I will do a time line of these afflictions
and then get into some of David's responses in the
psalms. This is powerful stuff!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Not My Fault!

Psalm 59 is the second psalm penned during this
time. It is much more personal as David uses the
pronouns, my, me, mine, and I,  24 times.

"Deliver me from my enemies, O my God...
They lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up
strife against me...
for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.
Awake, come to me, and see!"

Allow me to translate. "God this is terrible. I
have done nothing wrong. It is not my fault.
Fierce men are after me to kill me. Wake up!
Don't you see what is happening to me?"

Such anguish and confusion for this shepherd
boy who has been anointed king. It does not
make sense to him that men are trying to kill him
for "it is not his fault." AND, God is not present
to David which only adds to his pain.

The greatest times of confusion for me are the
times when I am innocent and yet coming under
fire. When it is not your fault, whose is it? Gods?
Paul says in Ephesians: "...we wrestle not against 
flesh and blood, but 
against principalities, 
against powers, 
against rulers of the darkness of this world, 
against spiritual wickedness in high places." 
(Eph. 6:12)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Coals of Fire

In Psalm 11 David begins with the truth,
"In the Lord I take refuge," 
but as he writes his emotions kick in:

"...The wicked bend the shoot at the
upright in heart...
Let him (God) rain coals of fire and sulfur,
and a scorching wind shall be the portion 
of their cup."

I would guess that David's relationship with God
is being sorely tested in these early days of rejection
and pursuit. Psalm 11 is mostly written in the third
person. However, strong emotions are evident
with his desire that God would visit coals of fire,
and sulfur, accompanied by a scorching wind
against his enemies.

Hmm, I can read these words out loud when I am
particularly ticked off--after all it is scripture! The
point is, God made us emotional beings and he is
not put off if we demonstrate the negative ones.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Chapters 18-20 of 1Samuel are full of drama:

Saul honors David
Saul tries to speer David
David wins Saul's daughter with 200 dead philistines.
"Saul is even more afraid of David."
"Saul was David's enemy continually."
Saul tells his servants to kill David, but
He tells his son he shall not put David to death.
David kills more Philistines.
Saul throws another spear.
David escapes.

How does David handle whiplash? He uses his pen to
cry out to God. He wrote two psalms, 11 and 59;
both are a window into the anguish of David's soul.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Good Life

I have been looking at the psalms of David and today I found
and printed out a chart from the Chronological Bible.  Here is
a brief overview of major events in the following chapters:

1 David was anointed king. (1Samuel 16)
2 David comes to live in King Saul's household.
3 David Slays Goliath. (chapter 17)
4 David and Jonathan were joined in friendship. (chapter 18)

At this time in David's life, not one psalm is attributed to him,
not even Psalm 23! Are you surprised? I certainly was.
Everything had gone swimmingly well in David's life until 
the women sang this song as they danced:

"Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands." (1 Sam. 18:7)

David had no clue, perhaps he didn't even hear the song,
but his life was about to be turned upside down!

Friday, July 12, 2013

How Emptiness Sings

Emptiness, loneliness, isolation. Each is wrapped
into that thing called "affliction." What if these
things were a story, yours dear reader, written into
His song? Check out the video below.

How Emptiness Sings, by Christa Wells

Glory to God, Glory to God
In fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his song
My life for the glory of God.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19

I left on vacation just as I reached a verse that
stopped me in my tracks. Affliction has to do
with continual or often repeated pain, in body
or mind, losses, distresses, illness, calamity,
adversity, persecution. That list pretty much
covers life!

David, who has just gone through the fire and
who is now living in a cave in fear for his life,
says emphatically, "The Lord delivers." I want
to camp on these three words because as the
years add up so do the afflictions. The Lord is
my rock, my salvation. I will not fear; I will
not despair. Each day I have a choice: I can
slide under the covers in self-pity, or I can
face what is and go on. Some days I do tank,
but then God comes and gives me both courage
and strength. He delivers me!

I do not know anyone who is not facing
afflictions of some kind. Dear reader, how do
you handle them?

New story is up:

Monday, July 8, 2013

"The Place"

How does one describe "The Place?" It has been home to
Glen's Mom for forty seven years. She will be 90 this year.
It started out as a double wide trailer installed over a basement,
not far from the Snake River. Trees were planted, then grass,
then the moving of hoses to water all that grass, followed by
a deck across the back of the house and a pond for fish. Today,
the grass is watered by a sprinkler system, the now huge trees
provide refreshing shade, the pond no longer contains fish, but
is still filled each summer. Why? Because children love to play
in and around water. Thirty eight years ago it was grandchildren;
today, great grandchildren fill the air with laughter. The scene
across the river is still rural and the freight trains still "go fast,"
according to two year old Noah. This two year old gets bathed
in the same tub his mother was bathed in at the same age. The
pictures and much of the furniture remains unchanged, the stove
included. The house fills up with family every 4th of July, and,
everyone still gathers to watch fire works, a show put on each
year by the now older men of the family.

It is a place out of time, an anchor to my soul.
Nothing seems to change-- except the generations.

New story is up: A Journey Home

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Journey Home

A new story is up! Please read this precious
love story written by Yolanda Stith. Share it
with others!
click on "stories"

Monday, July 1, 2013

Noah Writes a Blog

All is quiet. I sit down.
Noah calls. "Gamma, where are you?"
"Would Noah like to write a blog?" 
Paper and crayons are quickly provided.
Mommy leaves. Noah Leaves.