Monthly Archives: February 2017

The besieged city of our soul…

(I don’t have my original pic, so the above Psalm is a bonus)

The thirty-first Psalm should be well known to us. Our Lord quoted it as he neared death on the cross. “Into your hand I commit my spirit;” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭31:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬) 

Jesus often quoted Scripture.

Within this blessed Psalm are many golden bricks of the city wall of the steadfast love of God. Such as:

“Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭31:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Have you been in a besieged city lately? I have. The siege ramps were built without my knowing it, and the attack came as a surprise. But it came. It lasted for about 48 hours. But the Lord prevailed over the enemy outside. For two days I was rowing through a fog. Looking back I see that He was pulling me out of the fog and the Son shone his light upon me and I saw Him. Relief came. The siege was over. I realized what He wanted to teach me. Through it I had prayed and reflected on Scripture as the enemy’s battering ram beat loudly on the gate. I clung to Him. He met me. He answered me. The siege ended. The enemy gave in and went elsewhere. God is faithful.

If you’re in a besieged city of circumstances, run to Him. Pray. Open His word. His love is steadfast.

Think through these questions before you move on to the next thing.

Is Scripture enough of my daily diet that it comes to mind in the circumstances of life?

Am I refreshing my knowledge of The Bible so that when I am troubled, it emerges as a light in my daily journey?

Do I run to God in prayer when I’m under attack?

He is waiting and ready to be your strength.

_____________

Here’s a place to start:

http://bible.com/59/psa.31.21.esv

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confession through vulnerability

There is no confession apart from vulnerability. Honest conversations are integral to vulnerable conversations. When people in a vulnerable conversation are open to sharing, an honest conversation is truthful and prone to fruitfulness. It is easier for my friend to see and point out my pride than for me to see it myself. We might remain closed until we feel safe, but when we speak, we should be truthful. Vulnerability is like a wall around each person’s heart and mind. Their life experience has built this wall and for some it is high, for others it is lower, for some it is high and quite thick. In my experience, climbing over this wall requires a commitment to the person through regular conversations. It also takes patience. One cannot force vulnerability any more than one can push a rope.

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Needed Help

This is so true…

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs‬ ‭18:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

There is no way I would have the life that I’m blessed with without Sweet Anna. Just. No. Way.

Every aspect of who she is is such a blessing. She knows when to pat me on the back and when to kick my rear end. 

It is such a blessing from God, indeed she is favor from the Lord. May all men be so blessed as am I. 

Thanks be to God!

http://bible.com/59/pro.18.22.esv

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Glory to God from whom all blessings flow: results…

First of all, thanks for the encouraging words and especially for the prayers over the last three days (and previously).

RESULT: Conditional on making significant (and very helpful) revisions, I’ve passed my defense. 

That means I have completed a big step toward the goal.

I’m thankful, again, for the prayers and encouragement of friends and family as I traveled to and defended my thesis.

Secondly, I’m very thankful for the very helpful input from my thesis supervisor and reader. Their input was both global about the whole work and detailed in its parts.

Now, I go back to the library to put my head down and work to improve, hone and polish my work into a final product. 

Thanks again for your prayers and encouragement.

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From frozen Massachusetts, I’ve adopted these verses to meditate on as I prepare for my doctoral defense. 

To get to my defense (Wednesday at 8am – please pray), yesterday I rode the train to D.C., then flew to Boston and drove to S. Hamilton. The end of last week and over the weekend, a good snowfall covered much of New England (pic is coming if the sun ever comes up). So the driving yesterday was cautious but not problemic. This morning, my reading drew my attention to a favorite Psalm. 

I’ve adopted these words as my key verses for this day of preparation and for tomorrow’s defense. 

“Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭19:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/2co.13.14.esv

http://bible.com/59/psa.19.13-14.esv

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Our cry, His thought…

The psalmist reminds us that we should rejoice and be glad in our God…

“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” 

Here is reason…

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!”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭40:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Though I am (or feel) poor and needy (when, in fact, I may actually be rich and thriving), “the Lord takes thought for me!”

Dwell on this biblical encouragement for a moment…

The Lord takes thought for me.

YOU dear reader and fellow disciple are on the Lord’s mind. He cares for you. He sees through your circumstances to the real you. So follow the psalmist’s advice and face your circumstances with praise and say “Great is the Lord!” The more I say it the deeper into my heart it goes as an agent of change, lifting my spirit to bring His praise and glory higher. 

Keep this in mind as much as you can: “The Lord takes thought for me.”
____________________

http://bible.com/59/psa.40.16-17.esv

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What is the root of your grieving about circumstances? Heaven or earth?

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Too many today have lost their way and focus on the circumstances rather than the God of the universe. Turn your eyes upon the loving God!

http://bible.com/59/2co.7.10.esv

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