Psalm 56 Revisited

Be merciful to me,
For man oppresses me.
My enemies surround.
They fight me all around.
When I am full of fear,
I’ll trust that you are near—
My God whose word I praise.
No man makes me afraid.
All day they twist my words
With only evil towards.
They gather, hide, and wait
So my life they can take.
Can they escape by sin?
In anger cast them down!
You watch my wanderings
And capture all my crying.
My tears are in your book.
To you, O God, I look.
When I cry out to you,
My enemies are through!
I know, since God guards me.
In God, the Lord, I see
No reason not to trust.
What man can be unjust?
By vows to you I’m bound;
Let praise in me be found,
For you’ve delivered me
From death and falling feet,
So I may walk with you
In light and life anew.

Master Artisan

I saw a lavender sky the other evening.
After the rain passed,
We drove into the sunset.
The sky and clouds were the perfect purple blend!
Violet-hued air filled the atmosphere around us,
Till we just breathed in awe,
Silenced by the amazing grandeur of it all.
Even now, I can hardly believe
I truly experienced what I saw and felt,
But I am convinced it was a gift—
A reminder of Whose hand crafts the skies,
Whose Spirit infuses us with new life
In such incredible moments of peaceful joy.
Help us find our rest once more,
In You, O Master Artisan.

Infinite Beyond

God of glorious more and more,
Infinite beyond all score,
Deer run panting after you,
Living water flowing through.
Leaves keep reaching for your light,
Brilliant life that’s glowing bright.
All creation crying out,
Lifting up a joyous shout,
Longs for everything you are
To fill, renew, refresh, restart.
Imbue me with your presence, Lord.
So I may through your Spirit pour
All of you in every place
Showing your amazing grace.

Unite My Heart

In so many ways, I find it difficult to come,
Always seeing my shortcomings, my weaknesses,
Distracted by my obsessions (my stupid obsessions!!).
Then I sit down with nothing on my mind
Racing to find some of those things to think about, and
The time slips away from me
Before I can bring enough focus to you.
Why is it so hard, Lord?
Those moments when I do long to be with you are
The ones where I have other obligations to meet or
Other menial tasks that demand to be done “now”
Because they have been put off too long.
Why can’t I have that desire in me
When I have the time to pursue it?
Why can’t I go after you then???
I long for a holy fear, a balance in my life
That gives me the peace to pursue you
In the right time, in the right place,
At just the moment when I can let go of everything else.
You, my Lord God, are the ONLY one,
The ONLY thing worth pursuing for eternity’s sake.
Let me have that holy fear, that awe-filled reverence
That brings me back to your feet again and again.
Let me thirst for you, as the Psalmist says,
Like the deer pants after the water brooks.
Give me an undivided heart, Holy Spirit…
Unite my heart to fear your name, O Lord.

Living Stone

Lord, these are the days when I wonder
Why you still call me to you.
It seems all I do is to wander,
Instead of believing what’s true.

But somehow you keep on reminding me
That I can do nothing alone.
The ties that I have are still binding me—
My family of faith, stone on stone.

The blood that you shed is still precious.
You saved us to be holy priests.
I’m still learning that you are so gracious
Though often I feel like the least.

You keep calling me to be faithful—
Be holy as you are, Lord God.
So, I am eternally grateful
That you don’t cease calling me out.

1 Peter 2:1-10

The Next Right Thing To Do

In the lean times, when communication is indistinct,
Provision feels barely adequate or sometimes insufficient,
And emotional turbulence keeps me off balance,
Sometimes all I can do is crouch down,
Pull in my arms, and wait for something to change.
I don’t feel immobilized today, not by external forces…
Just this need for stillness and silence
In some bid for clarity.
I am surrounded by a cloud of things
Trying frantically to keep my attention,
When all I want to do is find a peaceful moment
Away from all the distractions, questions, and concerns.
I still my soul once more,
Settling again on truths I have known for ages,
Ignoring the feelings of frustration and anxiety
In some attempt to remember who I am,
Whose I am, what I stand for, why I am here.
It doesn’t matter really what others think of me
Or what I think of myself.
Ultimately, only the Father’s perspective counts,
But I need reminding.
I need centering.
I desperately need to find the calm in the eye of the storm.
Jesus, be my rest in these moments.
Be the purifying force in this refining process,
So I can become me in a stronger, more vibrant sense,
As you created me to be.
Be my strong tower, as David said,
My refuge blocking out all the white noise around me,
Helping me to refocus again on you to the exclusion of all else,
Surrounding me with pure presence,
Till I can fulfill the purposes you intended for me,
Till I can hear and see and know the next right thing to do.

Always You

It’s always you, Lord.
Somehow you sweetly beckon me again
In the most unexpected ways…
A passage from a book, a song on the radio,
A friend’s note of encouragement.
It’s not that those things don’t normally speak to me;
It’s when I am not looking for anything, and
You suddenly break over my spirit like a tidal wave of Love—
Covering me completely.
I find I can only weep silently in those moments,
As they so often come when other’s expectations sit on me.
But I am gladly shackled by your presence.
Your love binds me to you so completely
I would never wish to be unbound.
Your holiness utterly surrounds me,
Till all that is right is all that is good and all that I want, and
I wish that I could totally fling away all my petty sinful desires.
For the moment, your Love reminds me again
That you have never left me.
You are the impetus driving me forward.
You are the encouragement keeping me going.
You are the reminder of all I could be.
You are my protector when the devourer comes.
You are shaping my life even when I am not aware of you!
You surround me above and below.
“You have hedged me in behind and before, and
Laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.
It is high, I cannot attain it.”

Oh, Lord, in every circumstance
I am so very glad to rediscover,
It’s always you.

Seeking My Beloved Again

When heaviness of heart weighs me down and I wonder
If I will ever come close enough to You, Lord,
To find the satisfaction that can only be found in You…
I go to the secret place in my heart and wait again,
Searching my soul for the weaknesses that let all the peace leak out,
Praying with all the passion I possess for change,
For transformation, for Your presence.
The moments pass, the interminable moments pass
In my heart’s chamber…
So, I get up out of my bed and go around the city
Seeking my beloved again, asking the watchmen,
Till I find the One I love again and cling to You.
There is no peace without You, God,
But in Your presence peace permeates everything.
Please, Lord, let me never lose this sense
Letting me know I have distanced myself,
Because I don’t believe You ever leave me.
(You said You wouldn’t!)
Never let me lose sensitivity to Your moving,
Your working, Your stillness in my soul, Holy God.

Process of Discovery

Words churn inside me like a stormy sea
This word, that word, other words
Float to the top of my consciousness
Slipping away before I can grasp how to express
The turmoil in my thoughts and heart.
This wearing down weighs my mind
Like a heavy backpack as I struggle to climb
Higher up, further out, deeper into
Connection with Father, with Jesus, with Holy Spirit.
The glaring inconsistencies of my shortcomings
Battle the grace I keep finding in Yeshua’s blood,
Till I hardly know whether I can move at all.
Still God beckons me to the new horizon waiting
At the top of the mountain.
The depths have tried to overwhelm me, but
Freedom stands ready to give me wings.
Somehow, some way, I am determined in this!
Moving against the flood of negativity,
The eyes of my heart opened wide as I can get them,
My choice is to step up to the next level of revelation,
To take action and practice all I have learned.
My deepest longing is to bring as many with me
As I possibly can, if only they are willing to see with me
All the possibilities that await them, too.
Regardless, though, I choose to go,
Even if I must go alone…
Even if others believe I am wrong or have lost my mind,
I know in the core of who I am that there is more—
More than the same-old, same-old religious practices,
More than the same-new, same-new religious practices,
Because God is such a vastly, unimaginably infinite God.
He cannot be confined to any world system.
From the foundation of the world,
He began to create, and He is still creating.
He began to reveal, and He is still revealing
More and more and more of who He is and
More and more of who He created us to be.
I am still in the process of discovery!!!

Prayer of Repentance

Most High God,
I choose again…
To acknowledge I have sin in my heart,
To agree with my accuser and trust You for mercy.
I choose once more…
To trust that You are right,
You are good, and You are holy in all Your ways.

Holy God,
I still need saving…
From myself, my self-will,
My foolish pursuit of empty things.
I still need cleansing…
From all the filth that piles in
When I am not vigilant to remain pure in heart.

Holy Lord,
I still need… You…
Your cleansing blood to wash through me
When it feels sometimes like I will never be clean again.
I still need Truth…
To help me crucify my flesh again.
Holy Spirit, help me be more like Jesus.

Holy One of Israel,
I still want transformation…
New life, new mindsets,
New ways to hear and see and do Your will.
I still desire…
To know the ways of God like Moses
More than just the works of God like Israel.

Lord Jesus, be…
Be my center, my refuge, my eternal Focus.

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