Monday, September 29, 2008

My Help

Psalm 121 (HCSB)
I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, 
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip'
your Protector will not slumber.
Indeed, the Protector of Israel
does not slumber or sleep.
The LORD protects you;
the LORD is a shelter right by your side.
The sun will not strike you by ay,
or the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all harm;
He will protect your life.
The LORD will protect your coming and going
both now and forever.

This weekend I attended the leadership training meeting for Mission Trip Team Leaders. I can hardly believe that I am going to be the Team Leader for the spring trip to Mozambique. I sat in our meeting Saturday morning thinking, "Lord! How did I get here? I don't feel qualified. It's a huge responsibility!" As I went to bed Saturday night, I began to worry and fret. But God brought the words from this Psalm to my mind, and they were like a blanket of peace over me as I slept. And yesterday's sermon reminded me that God IS, and He is and will be all I need. So, today I begin the work, remembering the words of this Psalm. "My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth!"

"'Take courage and work, for I am with you,' says the Lord Almighty. 'My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid." Haggai 2:4-5 (NLT)

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin..." Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

God in Music

GOD IN MUSIC by Susan Palo Cherwien
Praise to the God in music;
Praise to the God of the morning stars' song
to the God of symphony
the God of sounding together:

Angels and archangels raise their ethereal voices to God,
Hymns and songs create a body for praise,
Stones and trees sing an earthly hosanna,
And the Christ himself sings and dances with his friends,

All in symphony, the great cosmic song

All in unity, the great universal choir.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Creation's Praise

 I love how Marilynne Robinson expresses this thought about creation's praise to God in her book, Home.  In this quote she is speaking of a giant oak tree: " ...if they could see as God can, in geological time, they would see it leap out of the ground and turn in the sun and spread its arms and bask in the joys of being an oak tree in Iowa."

"Praise the Lord from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths, fire and hail, snow and storm, wind and weather that obey him., mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all livestock, reptiles and birds, kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them all praise the name of the Lord, for his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!" - Psalm 148:7-13

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

God's Word

In the book of Isaiah God says,  “My word will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I have sent it.”  Ken Gire writes in Windows of the Soul, “Like rain and snow, the word of God permeates the earth…everywhere we look there are traces of His Word. In history. In the circumstances of our lives. In every nook of humanity and every crannied flower of creation.” On a missions trip to Mozambique I learned that everything I do or say says something about who God is. I learned to be faithful to the tasks God called me to do. God is present in the village all the time – not just when a missions team  is there. I pray that His Word and His Light will shine brightly so many in the village will have a living relationship with Him. And I pray that His Light will shine brightly in me.

God's Happy Song

Zephaniah 3:17 - "For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song."

Over and over the Bible reminds me that God is near. Yet frequently I think of God as being very far away. This verse has been one of my favorites for a long time because of the imagery of God singing a song over me. Imagine that! An incredible picture! And how I need God's love that calms my fears. One of my greatest fears is the fear of failure. God's love can conquer that. His love for me doesn't depend on my performance. His song can quiet my soul. I pray that my life will sing God's song and not my own.