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"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Breathing


In busy, crazy mess,

Days and days with not enough rest,

I need a moment,

Just a moment

To breathe.

Really, really breathe.

Matthew 11:28-30

New International Version (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


794- 931 this week:

  1. He will not deliver enemies into the hands of His people's vast army because then they would boast against Him, claiming they were saved by their own strength (Judges 7:2)
  2. He gives enemies into His people's hands when His people's army has only three hundred men (Judges 7:7)
  3. He gives enemy camps into the hands of His people (Judges 7:9)
  4. He gives signs to the fearful (Judges 7:10-11)
  5. He encourages His people (Judges 7:11)
  6. He gives people - so many that they seemed, from a distance, thick as locusts and their camels could not be counted any more easily than the grains of sand on the seashore – into the hands of three hundred of His people (7:7-25)
  7. He sends prophetic dreams to put fear into the hearts of His people's enemies (Judges 7:13)
  8. He allows His people's enemies to have enough wisdom to be aware of their own doom (Judges 7:14)
  9. His signs are so amazing that they inspire praise and confidence in His people's hearts (Judges 7:13-15)
  10. He causes His people's enemies to turn on each other with their swords (Judges 7:22)
  11. He brings victory to His people and all they have to do is blow trumpets, smash jars, and hold torches (Judges 7:19-22)
  12. He helps His people seize even the waters of the Jordan as far as Beth Barah (Judges 7:24)
  13. He gives enemy leaders into His people's hands (Judges 7:25)
  14. He subdues enemy nations before His people, and the nations do not raise their heads again (Judges 8:28)
  15. He rescues His people from the hands of all their enemies on every side (Judges 8:34)
  16. He repays the wickedness of murderers (Judges 8:54-56)
  17. He makes nations pay for all their wickedness (Judges 8:57)
  18. He causes curses to come upon nations (Judges 8:57)
  19. He sells those who do evil and forsake Him into the hands of those who shatter and crush them (Judges 10:6-8)
  20. He rescues His people again and again and again when they cry to Him for help (Judges 10:11-12)
  21. He does not save those who repeatedly forsake Him and serve other gods (Judges 10:11-13)
  22. He cannot bear the misery of His people when they repent of their sins and turn back to Him (Judges 10:15-16)
  23. His people possess and will possess what He has given them (Judges 11:24)
  24. He is the Judge (Judges 11:27)
  25. He decides disputes (Judges 11:27)
  26. He gives His people their enemies and allows them to devastate twenty towns (Judges 11:32-33)
  27. He gives children to the childless (Judges 13:2-3)
  28. He makes the childless woman pregnant (Judges 13:3)
  29. He sets children apart before they are even born (Judges 13:5)
  30. He dedicates children to Himself before they are even born (Judges 13:5)
  31. He hears the prayers of those who ask for instructions in how to do His will (Judges 13:8-9)
  32. He does amazing things (Judges 13:19)
  33. He allows people to watch the amazing things He does (Judges 13:19)
  34. He causes flame to blaze up from an altar toward heaven (Judges 13:20)
  35. His angels ascend in the flame He has created (Judges 13:20)
  36. He accepts burnt offerings and grain offerings from the hands of His people (Judges 13:23)
  37. He shows things to His people (Judges 13:23)
  38. He tells things to His people (Judges 13:23)
  39. His word comes true, and the childless give birth to children (Judges 13:24)
  40. He blesses the child He has chosen, and His Spirit begins to stir in him (Judges 13:24-25)
  41. He puts desires in His people's hearts (Judges 13:1-4)
  42. He seeks occasions to confront those He has allowed to rule over His people (Judges 13:4)
  43. His Spirit comes powerfully on the ones He has chosen (Judges 14:6)
  44. He enables people to tear apart lions with their bare hands (Judges 14:6)
  45. He enables a single person to strike down thirty men and strip them of everything (Judges 14:19)
  46. He gives people the power to catch three hundred foxes (Judges 15:4)
  47. He makes ropes become like charred flax and drop from the hands of the one they bound (Judges 15:14)
  48. He gives a person the strength to kill a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15)
  49. He gives His servants great victories (Judges 15:18)
  50. He opens up hollow places (Judges 15:19)
  51. He gives His thirsty people water out of the hollow places (Judges 15:18-19)
  52. He gives water from the hollow places and His water brings strength and revives His servant (Judges 15:19)
  53. He gives people the strength to tear apart the city gates (Judges 16:3)
  54. He gives people the strength to snap bowstrings easily (Judges 16:9)
  55. He gives people the strength to snap ropes as though they were threads (Judges 16:12)
  56. He gives people the strength to pull up the pin and the loom and the fabric with their hair (Judges 16:13-14)
  57. He leaves the Nazirite whose hair is cut (Judges 16:17-20)
  58. He remembers His servants (Judges 16:28-30)
  59. He returns and strengthens those whom He had left (Judges 16:28-30)
  60. He allows His servant to kill more of his enemies in his death than in his life (Judges 16:30)
  61. He tells His people who should go first (Judges 20:18)
  62. He tells His people who to go up against (Judges 20:23)
  63. He sends His people to be defeated twice (Judges 20:18-36)
  64. He promises victory for His people (Judges 20:28)
  65. He defeats Benjamin before Israel (Judges 20:35)
  66. He comes to the aid of His people (Ruth 1:6)
  67. He provides food for His people (Ruth 1:6)
  68. He makes people's lives bitter (Ruth 1:20)
  69. He brings people back empty (Ruth 1:21)
  70. He afflicts people (Ruth 1:21)
  71. His people can take refuge under His wings (Ruth 2:12)
  72. He does not leave His people without a guardian-redeemer (Ruth 4:14)
  73. He hears the prayers of those who cry out to Him in anguish (1 Samuel 1:10-20)
  74. He hears the prayers of His people prayed in the heart (1 Samuel 1:12-20)
  75. He hears those who pour out their souls to Him (1 Samuel 1:15-20)
  76. He lifts up the faces of the downcast (1 Samuel 1:18-20)
  77. He remembers those who cry out to Him in their grief (1 Samuel 1:15-19)
  78. He gives children to the barren who ask (1 Samuel 1:20)
  79. He is the joy of His people's hearts (1 Samuel 2:1)
  80. He is the horn - the strength - of His people, lifted high (1 Samuel 2:1)
  81. He delivers, and His people delight in His deliverance (1 Samuel 2:1)
  82. He is Holy, and there is no one Holy like Him (1 Samuel 2:2)
  83. There is no one besides Him (1 Samuel 2:2)
  84. There is no Rock like Him – God of His people (1 Samuel 2:2)
  85. He knows (1 Samuel 2:3)
  86. He weighs deeds (1 Samuel 2:3)
  87. He breaks the bows of the warriors (1 Samuel 2:4)
  88. He arms those who stumbled with strength (1 Samuel 2:4)
  89. He makes the full hungry (1 Samuel 2:5)
  90. He fills the hungry (1 Samuel 2:5)
  91. He gives to the barren many children (1 Samuel 2:5)
  92. He allows the one who had many sons to pine away (1 Samuel 2:5)
  93. He brings death (1 Samuel 2:6)
  94. He makes alive (1 Samuel 2:6)
  95. He brings down to the grave (1 Samuel 2:6)
  96. He raises up (1 Samuel 2:6)
  97. He sends poverty (1 Samuel 2:7)
  98. He sends wealth (1 Samuel 2:7)
  99. He humbles (1 Samuel 2:7)
  100. He exalts (1 Samuel 2:7)
  101. He raises the poor from the dust (1 Samuel 2:8)
  102. He lifts the needy from the ash heap (1 Samuel 2:8)
  103. He seats the poor and needy whom He has raised with princes (1 Samuel 2:8)
  104. He gives to those who were once needy an inheritance of a throne of honor (1 Samuel 2:8)
  105. The foundations of the earth are His (1 Samuel 2:8)
  106. He has set the world on the foundations of the earth (1 Samuel 2:8)
  107. He guards the feet of His faithful servants (1 Samuel 2:9)
  108. He silences the wicked in the place of darkness (1 Samuel 2:9)
  109. Even the strong cannot prevail against Him (1 Samuel 2:9-10)
  110. Those who oppose Him will be broken (1 Samuel 2:10)
  111. He thunders from heaven (1 Samuel 2:10)
  112. He judges the ends of the earth (1 Samuel 2:10)
  113. He gives strength to His kings (1 Samuel 2:10)
  114. He exalts the horn of His anointed (1 Samuel 2:10)
  115. He sees those who treat Him with contempt as having very greatly sinned (1 Samuel 2:11)
  116. He is gracious and gives to those who give to Him (1 Samuel 2:20-21)
  117. He mediates for people who sin against each other (1 Samuel 2:24)
  118. No person can intercede for those who sin against Him (1 Samuel 2:25)
  119. He keeps people from listening (1 Samuel 2:25)
  120. He keeps people from listening and turning from their sins because it is His will to put them to death (1 Samuel 2:25)
  121. He clearly reveals Himself to those whom He chooses (1 Samuel 2:27)
  122. He chooses people to go up to His altar (1 Samuel 2:28)
  123. He gives to the priests He has chosen all the food offerings presented by the Israelites (1 Samuel 2:28)
  124. He speaks through men (1 Samuel 2:27)
  125. He honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30)
  126. He disdains those who despise Him (1 Samuel 2:31)
  127. He cuts short the strength of those who despise Him (1 Samuel 2:30-31)
  128. He keeps people from reaching old age (1 Samuel 2:31)
  129. There is distress in His dwelling when people turn from Him (1 Samuel 2:30-32)
  130. He does good to His nation, His people (1 Samuel 2:32)
  131. He cuts those who despise Him off from serving at His altar (1 Samuel 2:30-33)
  132. Those who despise Him whom He does not cut off from serving at His altar He spares only to destroy their sight and sap their strength (1 Samuel 2:30-33)
  133. He causes the descendents of those who despise Him to die in the prime of life (1 Samuel 2:30-33)
  134. He causes brothers who despise Him to die on the same day (1 Samuel 2:30-34)
  135. He raises up for Himself a faithful priest (1 Samuel 2:35)
  136. He raises up those who will do according to what is in His heart and mind (1 Samuel 2:35)
  137. He firmly establishes His priestly house (1 Samuel 2:35)
  138. He allows His priests to minister before His anointed one always (1 Samuel 2:35)

Sorry there wasn't more this week.

Thank you for grace.



Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him:

<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>
Counting in community:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Linky for This Week


So sorry,

Crazy, busy week this week.

I'll try to post sometime in the next few days.

For now, here is the link-up.

I will put the same linky in my next post,

Whenever I get around to posting it.

Thank you for patience,

Thank you for grace.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

From Death to Life


I hate dry spells,

When my spirit feels like it's in the middle of the desert,

Heart totally apathetic,

Not even hating how apathetic it's become.

My mind doesn't doubt,

My mind knows the truth,

But my heart doesn't.

I don't feel anything

And it drives me nuts

Because I know how apathy kills my soul.

I hate dry spells.

 
I'd been in the middle of one for over a week -

Mentally sick and tired of it,

Heart still not caring,

Still not hating what it'd become,

Not even wanting to want God.

He gave me a song to sing from this place,

Besides the many I'd been writing.

I listened over

And over

And over again.

The first verse was almost exactly where I felt I was:

"I know I need You,
I need to love You,
I love to see You, but it's been so long.
I long to feel You,
And I feel this need for You,
And I need to hear You, is that so wrong?"

Why can't I feel You?

Aren't I supposed to be able to feel You?

I know I need You back.

I just can't do it.

I can't bring myself back to life.


Monday, I listened to a sermon.

John Piper.

I'd found it the week before,

But decided to listen to a different one instead.

God knew what He was doing,

That it wasn't time then,

But Monday it was.

He preached on Psalm 43:

Psalm 43

English Standard Version (ESV)

Send Out Your Light and Your Truth

43  Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
    deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.
He spoke about the Psalmist,

Described the spiritual condition,

Described where I was to a "T",

Heart divided,

Part of his soul taking refuge in God,

But somehow unable to see what God was doing,

Unable to feel God's presence.

Oh, I have felt this way,

I have felt this way so many times,

And I hate it,

But I can't avoid it.

I can't keep myself from death.


He said that it was common,

Not a good thing,

But common.

He said that all Christians feel like this at some point,

That the man in Mark 9:24 struggled with it,

That Paul in Romans 7:19 struggled with it,

That the psalmist in Psalm 43,

One whose faith was likely deeper than mine will ever be,

He struggled with this.

It's not good,

But it's common.

Maybe we can't appreciate life if we forget what it is to be dead.


The Psalmist faced it head-on.

Piper walked through exactly how he did it.

In Psalm 43:3-4:

First, he speaks to God,

Prays for spiritual light and truth - that his eyes might be opened to the spiritual truth he's blind to,

Comes to the altar of God - the bloody place, yet the place he know is his only hope for forgiveness, led there by "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4),

Experiences God as his exceeding joy - "the gladness of [his] rejoicing", in more ways than words can express - in the midst of physical threats and battles, he realizes that the ultimate battle is for God to be his exceeding joy, the gladness at the heart of all of his other joys,

Expresses this joy in God - lets the joy overflow into praise of God, knowing the ultimate goal of life is "to enjoy God with overflowing praise"

He wants "a constant, uninterrupted experience of God as his exceeding joy",

"But in reality there are times when he feels forsaken",

Abandoned.

His head knows God has not forsaken him.

His heart feels like He has.

"His deepest strategy to escape this most dangerous condition is to pray":

Psalm 43:3-4

English Standard Version (ESV)

Send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

What he does after that seems so strange to me -

This, what I have always thought a strange quirk,

A bad habit,

This speaking to the self,

This, an essential element for finding joy in God? -

But he did it,

Right there in Psalm 43:5

He spoke to his own soul

Psalm 43:5

English Standard Version (ESV)

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.
He preached to himself: 

Hope in God, O my soul.

Find joy in God, O my soul.

Love God, O my soul,

For I shall praise Him,

My salvation and my God.

"My salvation",

The One who brings the dead to life.
 

Thus began my fight to see God again,

To experience Him as my joy.

I prayed for it,

"God show me Your light and Your truth.",

And I preached it to myself,

"Soul, hope in God.

Soul, love God.

Soul, find joy in God,

For I will praise Him."

It was a struggle,

Wasn't really working

Until the strangest thing happened.

I heard a joke on the radio:
"In my parents' house, we're missing a lot of things.  Our chess set is missing six pieces, so we use figures from their Nativity scene as replacements.  My uncle uses this as an opportunity to cheat.  'Uncle, you can't move that piece there, it's a pawn.  It doesn't go that way.'  'Son, that there is the Son of God.  You can move Him wherever you want.'"
And I laughed,

And my soul filled with joy,

Brought from death to life,

Overflowing with the knowledge that,

Though I can't move Him wherever I want,

He can move wherever He wants,

And in that moment,

In that blessed moment,

He chose to move in my heart

And bring me to life again 

And I smiled so wide it hurt,

And laughed and rejoiced

For His abundant grace

In giving me joy.

Undeserved,

Beautiful,

Life-bringing

Joy.

He really does bring the dead to life.

He really, really does.

Thank You.  

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, God.

"God, my exceeding joy."


Fighting for joy this week, 

Starting to realize just what that means, 

And struggling to remember that it's primarily a fight to see God as He is, 

So here I'm counting, 

My own feeble attempt to see God as He is. 

Numbers 708-793 this week:
  1. He takes people who are caught up in a culture of idolatry and leads them into new lands (Joshua 24:2-3)
  2. He gives descendants (Joshua 24:3)
  3. He gives children (Joshua 24:3-4)
  4. He assigns some lands to some people and other lands to others (Joshua 24:4)
  5. He afflicts peoples by what He does (Joshua 24:5)
  6. He puts darkness between His people and their enemies (Joshua 24:7)
  7. He brings the sea over the enemies of His people, covering them (Joshua 24:7)
  8. He brings His people into lands and gives the people of the lands over into the hands of His people (Joshua 24:8)
  9. He blesses His people again and again (Joshua 24:10)
  10. He blesses His people when others would curse them (Joshua 24:9-10)
  11. He does not listen to those whose plans do not line up with His own (Joshua 24:9-10)
  12. He sends the hornet ahead of His people, driving out other peoples (Joshua 24:11-12)
  13. He gives His people lands on which they did not toil (Joshua 24:13)
  14. He gives His people cities they did not build (Joshua 24:13)
  15. He gives His people vineyards and olive groves to eat from that they did not plant (Joshua 24:13)
  16. He should be feared (Joshua 24:14)
  17. He should be served with all faithfulness (Joshua 24:14)
  18. He brings His people out and performs great signs before their eyes (Joshua 24:17)
  19. He protects His people on their entire journey (Joshua 24:17)
  20. He protects His people among all the nations through which they travel (Joshua 24:17)
  21. He drives out before His people all the nations living in the land He has given to them (Joshua 24:18)
  22. He is so Holy and Jealous that His people are unable to serve Him (Joshua 24:19)
  23. He will not forgive His people's rebellion and sins, because He is Holy and Jealous – His people are unable to serve Him (Joshua 24:19)
  24. He turns and brings disaster on those who forsake Him and serve foreign gods (Joshua 24:20)
  25. He makes an end of those who forsake Him and serve foreign gods (Joshua 24:20)
  26. He tells people when to go up (Judges 1:1-2)
  27. He sends angels to speak His words to His people (Judges 2:1-5)
  28. His anger is aroused when His people forsake Him and serve Baal and the Ashtoreths (Judges 2:12-13)
  29. He gives those He is angry with into the hands of raiders who plunder them (Judges 2:14)
  30. He gives those He is angry with into the hands of their enemies all around (Judges 2:14)
  31. He does not give those he is angry with the power to resist their enemies (Judges 2:14)
  32. His hand is against those who forsake Him (Judges 2:15)
  33. He seeks to defeat those who forsake Him (Judges 2:15)
  34. He raises out judges to save his people from the hands of raiders (Judges 2:16)
  35. He relents because of His people's groaning under those who oppress and afflict them (Judges 2:18)
  36. He becomes very angry with those who refuse to give up their stubborn practices and evil ways (Judges 2:19-20)
  37. He does not drive out nations before His people when they violate His covenant (Judges 2:20-21)
  38. He uses other nations to test His people, to see if they will keep His way and walk in it (Judges 2:21-22)
  39. He allows nations to remain and does not drive them out, that He may use them to test His people (Judges 2:22-23)
  40. He leaves nations to test those of His people who had not experienced wars (Judges 3:1)
  41. He leaves nations only to teach warfare those of His people who had not had previous battle experience (Judges 3:2)
  42. He leaves nations to test His people to see whether they will obey His commands (Judges 3:4)
  43. He sells those who forget Him and serve other gods into the hands of foreign kings (Judges 3:7-8)
  44. He raises up a deliverer for those who cry to Him for help (Judges 3:9)
  45. His Spirit comes upon people, and He uses them to rescue (Judges 3:10-11)
  46. He appoints judges, and His Spirit comes upon them (Judges 3:10)
  47. He gives kingdoms into the hands of his judges (Judges 3:10)
  48. He allows his judges to overpower kings (Judges 3:10)
  49. He brings peace to the land for many years (Judges 3:11)
  50. He gives those who do evil over to foreign kings (Joshua 3:12)
  51. He allows foreign kings to attack and take possession of His people when His people have done evil in His sight (Joshua 3:12-13)
  52. He gives deliverers to those who cry out to Him (Judges 3:15)
  53. He gives enemies into the hands of His people (Judges 3:28)
  54. He allows His people to strike down ten thousand, and not one escapes (Judges 3:29)
  55. He makes other nations subject to His people (Judges 3:30)
  56. He gives people such power that they can kill their enemies with an oxgoad (Judges 3:31)
  57. He gives people the power to save (Judges 3:31)
  58. He raises up women as leaders (Judges 4:4)
  59. He hears His people's cry and gives their enemies into their hands (Judges 4:3-7)
  60. He delivers kings into the hands of women (Judges 4:9)
  61. He goes ahead of His people to give kings and nations into His people's hands (Judges 4:14)
  62. He wills women to kill great kings and secure victory for His people (Judges 4:18-23)
  63. He subdues kings before His people (Judges 4:23)
  64. He allows His people to press harder and harder against kings until they are destroyed (Judges 4:24)
  65. The earth shakes when He marches (Judges 5:4)
  66. The heavens pour when He marches (Judges 5:4)
  67. The clouds pour down water when He marches (Judges 5:4)
  68. The mountains quake before Him (Judges 5:5)
  69. He is the One of Sinai (Judges 5:5)
  70. He chooses new leaders when war comes to the city gates (Judges 5:8)
  71. He protects His people from the horrors of war (Judges 5:8)
  72. All His enemies perish (Judges 5:31)
  73. He makes those who love Him like the sun when it rises in its strength (Judges 5:31)
  74. He sends prophets to those who do not listen (Judges 6:7-10)
  75. He sends His angel to the one He has chosen to rescue His people (Judges 6:11-12)
  76. He is with the one He has chosen, His mighty warrior (Judges 6:12)
  77. He sends the one He has chosen to save His people out of the hands of their enemies (Judges 6:14)
  78. He is with the one He has chosen (Judges 6:16)
  79. He waits at the request of the one He has chosen (Judges 6:17-18)
  80. He gives His angel the power to make fire flare from rock, consuming meat, bread, and broth (Judges 6:20-22)
  81. He tells His people to have peace and not be afraid (Judges 6:23)
  82. He is Peace (Judges 6:24)
  83. He commands that the altars of foreign gods be torn down and a new altar be built for Him (Judges 6:25-26)
  84. His Spirit comes on the one He has chosen, that great victories may be won (Judges 6:34-35)
  85. He sends dew – a bowlful! - upon the fleece yet leaves the ground dry (Judges 6:36-38)
  86. He leaves the fleece dry and covers the ground with dew (Judges 6:39-40)

Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him:



<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>
Counting in community:


And linking up at A Holy Experience today, talking about Resurrection - how He and He alone can breathe life into the dead.



Also, please look at some of the other beautiful posts found at the bottom of this one.  Maybe bless the author with a comment?  It's a blessing to know that God has used your imperfect words to bless another.

Italicized, bolded, quoted words lyrics to "Times" by Tenth Avenue North.  Many thanks to these people for their incredible, inspiring music.

Thank you for visiting!

God bless!

  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How He Brings the Dead to Life


I've been missing it the past week -

Joy.

I'm not quite sure how it happens -

Though I think a lot of it's my own fault -

How all that was full and blooming in my life

Withers in moments,

Vanishes,

And then I can't find it,

Can't get back to it.


I think I have a recurring case of soul-amnesia,

Always forgetting who God is,

What He's done,

Why He is worthy of my worship,

How He fills all my needs.

It comes on a regular basis,

This forgetfulness,

And I feel the apathy in my heart,

Have a hard time wrapping my heart around the concept -

The reality -

Of God.

My mind knows it,

Doesn't doubt for a second (during these times, that is),

But my heart is left empty,

Without even any real desire for the faint memory remaining,

The quickly-fading thought of joy,

Real joy.

How is it that someone brought to life can feel so dead?


I've been busy all week -

No time to search for that desire again,

No time to search for joy -

Buried under mountains of homework,

Projects that have taken up every waking moment,

And I've been up 'til one-thirty,

Two,

Two-thirty,

Trying to get it all done,

And is it just the homework,

Or am I trying to be God,

Get everything done myself,

In my own strength,

As though He's not enough?

Is that part of my problem?


I have been hard-hearted,

Arrogant,

Selfish,

Self-worshiping;

An emotionless,

Apathetic

Fool,

And so, so many other ugly things,

And I haven't even tried to change.

Since when did homework and busyness become more important than my own soul?


Finally, today, I made time,

And I took my apathetic heart in search of that joy

But joy doesn't come because I will it to,

It comes only as a gift from God,

And I only found a little bit of that joy,

A little of the life my soul is dying for,

And I found myself on my knees,

Just praying for desire,

Black jeans sinking into still-moist dark brown earth,

And me not even caring about stains or mud

Because I am stained,

Muddy,

A mess.

  
The breeze picked up

And my mind knew it was the One who tells the winds where to blow,

It was He who gently tossed my hair,

Caressed my face,

And I've missed this,

I've missed Him,

And how do I always, always get so far so fast,

Then wonder how I got there?


But in emptiness and darkness,

In rot and ruin,

He is the One who has stones rolled away,

It is His light that breaks through the darkness,

And His voice that calls,

Loud and strong,

"Come out!

Come out to me!"

This -

This is how He brings the dead to life.

Hallelujah!

Holy, Holy!

Great

 I 

Am!!!




Counting 588-707 this week,

119 more reasons to worship the Living Lord God!

(Just in case anyone was wondering, I beat my Lenten goal of 400 -

I came up with 654 reasons before Easter!

Praise God for all He's taught me during this season!)
  1. He becomes jealous when His people worship foreign gods (Deuteronomy 32:16)
  2. He becomes angry when His people worship detestable idols (Deuteronomy 32:16)
  3. He rejects those who desert and forget Him (Deuteronomy 32:18-19)
  4. He hides His face from those who are unfaithful (Deuteronomy 32:20)
  5. He makes those who turn from Him envious by those who are not a people (Deuteronomy 32:21)
  6. He makes those who turn from Him angry by a nation that has no understanding (Deuteronomy 32:21)
  7. He kindles a fire by His wrath (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  8. His fire burns down to the realm of the dead below (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  9. His fire devours the earth and its harvests (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  10. He sets afire the foundations of the mountains (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  11. He heaps calamities on those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:23)
  12. He spends His arrows against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:23)
  13. He sends wasting famine against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  14. He sends consuming pestilence and deadly plague against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  15. He sends the fangs of wild beasts against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  16. He sends the venom of vipers against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  17. He dreads the taunt of the enemy, those who think they have accomplished great works, rather than the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:27)
  18. No one man can chase a thousand, no two can put ten thousand to flight, unless the Lord gives them up to that fate (Deuteronomy 32:30)
  19. No other rock is like Him (Deuteronomy 32:31)
  20. He keeps things in reserve, seals them in His vaults (Deuteronomy 32:34)
  21. He avenges and repays (Deuteronomy 32:35)
  22. He vindicates His people when He sees their strength is gone and no one is left (Deuteronomy 32:36)
  23. He relents concerning his servants when He sees their strength is gone and no one is left (Deuteronomy 32:36)
  24. He Himself is God (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  25. There is no God besides Him (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  26. He puts to death (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  27. He brings to life (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  28. He wounds (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  29. He heals (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  30. No one can deliver out of His hand (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  31. He solemnly swears (Deuteronomy 32:40)
  32. He swears by His constancy (Deuteronomy 32:40)
  33. He lives forever (Deuteronomy 32:40)
  34. He sharpens His flashing sword (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  35. His hand grasps His sword in judgment (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  36. He takes vengeance on His adversaries (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  37. He repays those who hate Him (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  38. He makes His arrows drunk with blood (Deuteronomy 32:41))
  39. His sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders (Deuteronomy 32:42)
  40. He commands His people to rejoice (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  41. He avenges the blood of His servants (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  42. He takes vengeance on His enemies (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  43. He makes atonement for His land and His people (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  44. He comes with myriads of holy ones (Deuteronomy 33:1)
  45. He shows His servant the promised land (Deuteronomy 34:1-4)
  46. People die when He says they will (Deuteronomy 34:5)
  47. He buries His servant – no one can find his grave (Deuteronomy 34:6)
  48. He sustains His servants (Deuteronomy 34:7)
  49. He sends to do signs and wonders (Deuteronomy 34:11)
  50. He gives His servants mighty power (Deuteronomy 34:12)
  51. He shows through His servants His awesome deeds (Deuteronomy 34:12)
  52. He gives His people every place where they set their feet (Deuteronomy 34:3)
  53. No one is able to stand against His people (Deuteronomy 34:5)
  54. He gives prosperity and success to those who do everything written in the Book of the Law (Joshua 1:8)
  55. He is with His servants wherever they go (Joshua 1:9)
  56. He gives His people rest by giving them the promised land (Joshua 1:13)
  57. He causes fear to fall on His enemies (Joshua 2:9-11)
  58. He is God in heaven above (Joshua 2:11)
  59. He is God on the earth below (Joshua 2:11)
  60. He does amazing things among His people (Joshua 3:5)
  61. He exalts His servants (Joshua 4:14)
  62. He causes streams to stop flowing and pile up in a heap a great distance away (Joshua 3:15-16)
  63. He cuts off the water flowing down to the sea (Joshua 3:16)
  64. He turns riverbeds into dry ground (Joshua 3:16-17)
  65. He makes rivers start flowing again after His people pass through (Joshua 4:18)
  66. He dries up both rivers and seas so that the peoples of the earth might know that He is powerful (Joshua 4:23-24)
  67. He dries up both rivers and seas so that the peoples of the earth might always fear Him (Joshua 4:23-24)
  68. His deeds are so awesome that the hearts of His people's enemies melt in fear and lose their courage (Joshua 5:1)
  69. He sends the commander of His army to speak with His servant (Joshua 5:13-14)
  70. He delivers securely barred cities into the hands of His people (Joshua 6:1-2)
  71. He is with His servants (Joshua 6:27)
  72. His anger burns against those who do not obey His command and are unfaithful to the devoted things (Joshua 7:1)
  73. He does not give victory to those who disobey Him (Joshua 7:1-7)
  74. He acts for His Great Name (Joshua 7:9)
  75. He refuses to be with those who do not destroy what is devoted to destruction (Joshua 7:12)
  76. He destroys those who violate His covenant and keep devoted things rather than destroying them (Joshua 7:15)
  77. He is honored and glorified when His people tell the truth (Joshua 7:19)
  78. He brings trouble on those who violate His commands (Joshua 7:25)
  79. He turns from his fierce anger (Joshua 7:26)
  80. He tells His people not to be afraid (Joshua 8:1)
  81. He tells His people not to be discouraged (Joshua 8:1)
  82. He promises (Joshua 8:2)
  83. He tells exactly what will happen before it happens (Joshua 8:2)
  84. He gives cities into the hands of His people – those who obey His commands (Joshua 8:7-8)
  85. He delivers cities into the hands of those who follow His instructions (Joshua 8:18-19)
  86. He gives victory to those who follow His instructions (Joshua 8:24-26)
  87. He allows those who do not seek His counsel to be led astray (Joshua 9:14-18)
  88. His wrath falls on those who break the oath they make by His name (Joshua 9:19)
  89. He gives His people's enemies into the hands of His people (Joshua 10:8)
  90. When He gives His people's enemies into the hands of His people, not one of His people's enemies will be able to withstand the army of His people (Joshua 10:8)
  91. He throws His people's enemies into confusion (Joshua 10:10)
  92. He allows His people to defeat their enemies completely (Joshua 10:10)
  93. He hurls large hailstones on His people's enemies (Joshua 10:11)
  94. The hail He sends kills more people than the swords of His people's army (Joshua 10:11)
  95. He answers the prayers of His servant – even to make the sun and moon stand still (Joshua 10:12-13)
  96. He makes the sun stand still in the sky over Gibeon (Joshua 10:12-13)
  97. He makes the moon stop above the Valley of Aijalon (Joshua 10:12-13)
  98. He makes the sun and the moon stand still until the people have avenged themselves on their enemies (Joshua 10:12-13)
  99. He delays the sun's setting for approximately one full day (Joshua 10:13)
  100. He listens to human beings (Joshua 10:14)
  101. He fights for His people and answers their prayers (Joshua 10:14)
  102. He kills the enemies of His people (Joshua 10:25-26)
  103. He gives entire cities and their kings into Israel's hands (Joshua 10:30)
  104. He allows His people to conquer all the kings in the region and their lands in one campaign because He fights for His people (Joshua 10:40-43)
  105. He defeats the combined troops of many nations (Joshua 11:1-8)
  106. He hardens people's hearts to wage war against His people (Joshua 11:20)
  107. He hardens people's hearts to wage war that His servant might destroy them completely, exterminating them without mercy (Joshua 11:20)
  108. He enables His people to conquer the lands of thirty-one kings (Joshua 12:7-24)
  109. He is the inheritance of the tribe of Levi (Joshua 13:33)
  110. He helps His servants to drive peoples out, just as He said (Joshua 14:12-15)
  111. He gives the land rest from war (Joshua 14:15)
  112. He blesses His people abundantly and makes them numerous (Joshua 17:14)
  113. He commands His people to designate cities of refuge (Joshua 20:1-3)
  114. He commands that towns be given for His priests to live in (Joshua 21:1-2)
  115. He commands that pasturelands be given for the livestock of His priests (Joshua 21:1-2)
  116. He gives His people all the land He had sworn to their ancestors that He would give them (Joshua 23:43)
  117. He gives His people rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors (Joshua 23:44)
  118. He gives all His people's enemies into the hands of His people (Joshua 23:44)
  119. Not one of His good promises failed (Joshua 23:45)
  120. He fulfills all His promises (Joshua 23:45)

Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him:


<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>
Counting in community:



And linking up at A Holy Experience today, talking about Resurrection - how He brings the dead to life.



Also, please look at some of the other beautiful posts found at the bottom of this one.  Maybe bless the author with a comment?  It's a blessing to know that God has used your imperfect words to bless another.

  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Apologies


I'm sorry, I don't really have time to post today.

It's been so busy I haven't had a spare minute until now.

For those of you who were waiting, here's the linky.

I'll post it again when I post tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"How Then Shall We Fight for Joy?" - Part 2


Sharing the rest of John Piper's points on how to fight for joy today

(First six over here): 
7.  Pray earnestly and continually for open heart eyes and an inclination for God (John 16:24, Psalm 90:14, Psalm 85:6, Psalm 51:12, Psalm 119:36, Psalm 119:16, Psalm 90:40)
8.  Learn to preach to yourself rather than listening to yourself (conquer your thoughts, tell yourself what to think - Psalm 42:5)
9.  Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight (1 Samuel 23:16, Hebrews 3:12-13, Proverbs 13:20)
10.  Be patient in the night of God's seeming absence (Psalm 40:1-3)
11.  Get the rest, exercise, and proper diet that your body was designed by God to have (stop trying to prove you're God by staying up to get things done - go get some sleep!!! Psalm 127:1-2)
12.  Make a proper use of God's revelation in nature (didn't get the reference for this one because he ran out of time and started going really fast)
13.  Read great books about God and biographies of great saints (the reference was somewhere in Hebrews, if that helps)
14.  Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others (Isaiah 58:10-11)
15.  Get a global vision for the cause of Christ and pour yourself into the unreached (Psalm 67:1-2?)
Hope this helps you in your fight for joy!

God bless!

   

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!!!!!


In the midst of dark shadows,

Misunderstood words,

Fear and mourning,

They ran to find Him

And found His tomb empty -

Empty!!!

Desperate to know what had happened,

She begged to know where His body had been laid,

Offered to get Him herself,

Body dead three days,

Until He spoke -

Said her name -

And she rejoiced!

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!


I am the betrayer,
It was I who gave that kiss.
I am the denier,
Fearful and faithless.

I am the Pharisee
Who plotted and conspired,
Who paid the thirty pieces.
Who accused.  I'm a wretched liar.

I am standing in the crowd,
Staring at innocence,
And from the depths of my cold heart
Came that terrible request.

I'm the one who kicked You,
Mocked You,
Beat You,
Nailed You to a tree.

I'm the one who spat
And stared
And laughed
And found joy in my cruelty.

I'm the taunter,
I'm the soldier,
I'm the condemner,
A filthy sinner.

And You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
Unrighteous and unworthy.

You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
Unrighteous and unworthy,
A sinner, so unholy,
Unrighteous and unworthy.

How can You love me?
How can You love me?
How can You love me?

You satisfied justice
By taking my punishment.
You brought Yourself glory
By dying there on that tree,

And now it's mercy
And an empty tomb,
It's repentance
And life anew.

You call betrayer "Brother",
You call denier "Daughter",
We've been washed by blood and water
By the grace of our Great Father.

You call denier "Daughter."

You call denier "Daughter."

So thank You,
Thank You,
But how can I thank You enough?

Thank You,
Thank You, thank You,
But I can't thank You enough,

For You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
Unrighteous and unworthy.

You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
You would be just to condemn me,
Unrighteous and unworthy,
A sinner, so unholy,
Unrighteous and unworthy,

Daughter of the Great I Am,
Rescued by the Son of Man,
Brought from death to life again,
I can't thank You enough for this.

I can't thank You enough for this.

I can't thank You enough for this.



Music for today,

The joy and wonder of this:




Bold, italicized words lyrics to "I Can't Thank You Enough (For This)", ©2012 Mary Schieferstein.  Hopefully I'll be able to get a demo version of this recorded soon - filled with joy at the wonder that He calls denier "Daughter."

 

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