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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Color Green



I don't know why it is that some days are okay

And some are even wonderful

While some are just filled with struggle,

Me struggling still with the things I struggle with most.

I try to fill my head with other things,

Listen to Beth Moore talking about the mind as a sermon to start my day

And work while I listen to Rich Mullins' songs,

But the moments spent without those influences,

The moments where other influences have their chance -

Well, some days are okay,

Some are even wonderful,

But some days those moments get to me

And take root in my heart

And all the apathy and negative thoughts

Are back as though they'd never left,

And I know it's possible to be free,

But I can't seem to figure out how,

And I can't deny that I have conflicting desires.

I can't deny that I don't want what I should as much as I ought.

And it's a day when all those influences could easily be at their worst,

Long hours doing nothing,

Waiting,

In anticipation,

Me struggling,

Fighting,

Faltering,

Falling,

When the song stuck in my head for the past few days makes its appearance

And my heart is drawn to praise

For the blue of the sky

And the color green,

And the rocks that are crying out along with it.


Reasons 4296-4312 today,

Still seeking to know Him, 

For Him and His Glory to be foremost in my mind

And draw me to praise:

  1. He answers those who call to Him in their distress (Psalm 120:1)
  2. His people's help comes from Him (Psalm 121:2)
  3. He made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:2)
  4. His people's help comes from Him who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:2)
  5. He will not let His people's foot be moved (Psalm 121:3)
  6. He keeps His people (Psalm 121:3)
  7. He who keeps His people will not slumber (Psalm 121:3)
  8. He who keeps His people will not sleep (Psalm 121:4)
  9. He who keeps His people will neither slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:4)
  10. He is His people's Keeper (Psalm 121:5)
  11. He is His people's shade on their right hand (Psalm 121:5)
  12. He will keep His people from all evil (Psalm 121:7)
  13. He will keep His people's lives (Psalm 121:7)
  14. He will keep His people's going out (Psalm 121:8)
  15. He will keep His people's coming in (Psalm 121:8)
  16. He will keep His people's going out and His people's coming in (Psalm 121:8)
  17. He will keep His people's going out and His people's coming in from this time forth and forevermore (Psalm 121:8)

 
Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him: 
(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<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:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Amazed


 Amazed that,

While it's pouring down rain here

It's a beautiful day somewhere else,

And God is in control of all of it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nicaragua Blog Trip!


Just wanted to throw out a quick note to follow the Compassion bloggers in Nicaragua (at least for their last day)!

You can read what they're experiencing here.

Follow the Compassion Bloggers in Nicaragua



 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Mornings


She finds me in the back row

In the back corner

Hunched over a bit,

Head down,

Dabbing at my nose with a napkin

Taken from the coffee table to my right.

She puts her hand on my back

And kneels down beside me

And asks me what's wrong,

If she can pray for me.

I tell her I didn't know it was going to be so hard.


I don't know why I'm so emotional,

(Maybe I can blame it on hormones?)

It seems like such a simple thing,

But Sunday mornings in my family

Have always been kind of special.


I've grown up

And dug down roots

In the family God planted me in,

In the (relatively) small town Ohio soil,

And I don't much like change,

And I do all I can to avoid tension,

And the way things always have been

Is about the way I think things always ought to be.


From the Sunday after I was born

We've always had the same routine:

Get up,

Go to church,

Sit together,

Get lunch together.

Sunday mornings are family time,

Some of the only family time my crazy family gets,

And I don't cry over much,

But I must be pretty nostalgic,

And I must have a strong sense of family,

Because when I think about how much my family loves me

And how much I love them,

It never fails to bring tears to my eyes.


Now things are a little different on Sunday mornings.

My family goes to the church I grew up in

And I don't.

Why?

A lot of reasons.

I'm sick of a few things (things, not people),

I've found a lot of things that just aren't enough,

And I'm hungry for a whole lot more.

And I miss the people.

I miss the building.

I miss the style of worship.

But God's calling me somewhere else,

And He has been for a long time.

So I drive a little farther,

Stay a lot longer,

Try to match new names with new faces

And try to manage being shy while truly desiring to befriend people,

Wanting to invest myself while wanting to be cautious,

And the people love Jesus,

The prayer is from the heart,

The worship is straight to God,

And the sermon doesn't try to dull a two-edged sword.

I haven't felt so hungry for God,

So eager to learn,

So joyful to worship

In a long time.

But the service ends

And I look at my watch

And know that my family's probably already sitting at our favorite restaurant,

Talking,

Just being together.

And I'm not.

And I didn't think I'd get so emotional,

But I just need to sit down . . .

And maybe one of those napkins will help . . .

And maybe I need to stop thinking about this . . .

And maybe I need to think about this . . .

And, God, really,

What is this going to look like?

You're going to have to help me.

I can't do this on my own.


She finds me in the back row,

In the back corner,

Puts her hand on my back,

Listens long

And prays longer,

And that alone was enough

To bring calm and a deep peace,

But after the "Amen", a tight hug, and my immense gratitude,

She listens longer

And gives advice

And encourages.

This woman I just met a week ago

Seems to know me pretty well already,

And just encourages me to do what God's calling me to do,

Go to the church He's calling me to go to,

Wherever that may be . . .

And to tell my family how much I missed being with them,

That, even though I feel I "need to discover God for myself", she said,

I should tell them how much I missed our Sunday mornings.



Sorry, no reasons on my end today.

Busy with a lot this week,

Didn't get much sleep a couple nights.

Learning a lot, though,

And still hungering to know who God is.

(Also, no post next Sunday,

But I may see if I can slip one in before then.)


Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him: 
(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<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:



 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Changes


They've been happening a lot lately,

These changes.

I've been causing a lot of them.

(You may have noticed the different appearance here?

To match my new website?

I've been very busy lately . . .)


Yesterday, I put the final touches on my website.

(Admittedly, for the third time, so maybe it's still not quite done.)

Then I put the final touches on my new blog template,

Uploaded some headers to Bandcamp,

Double-checked,

Triple-checked,

Then suddenly realized that I had nothing to do;

Nothing pressing to work on,

Nothing urgent to get done,

Nothing near the top of my list that had to come before the things I want to do and have been putting off.

Putting off because I need to get these things done first,

Putting off because I need to get at least six hours of sleep at night,

Just putting off.

I had nothing to do.


I think it was the first time in weeks I'd felt like this,

The first time in weeks I actually felt like I had time -

And lots of it.

I didn't really know what to do with myself.

I went to my keyboard for awhile,

Did some vocal exercises,

But then I had to be back where everyone else was to babysit.

I did some things with my sister,

Flipped through a catalog,

And finally ended up getting on my computer.

And counting.

And the Psalm I was on I didn't really know what to do with,

What said something distinct about God,

And what said more about me.

What should go on the list

And what shouldn't

And, really, when I get to the end of all this, how much will I have missed?

But, when I'm digging into the Word like this, does it really matter?

No matter what I do, I'm just scratching the surface.

And, oh, these words are such priceless treasure!

Maybe the biggest changes happening around here

Are the changes inside of me,

Changes big enough to appreciate, but small enough to miss if one isn't watching.

But, oh, I'm watching.

I'm watching.

God is so Good.

So, so Good.


Reasons 4197-4295 today,

Still seeking to know Him

And see Him as He is

And always will be:

  1. He hears His people's voice (Psalm 116:1)
  2. He is Gracious and Righteous (Psalm 116:5)
  3. He is full of compassion (Psalm 116:5)
  4. He protects the unwary (Psalm 116:6)
  5. When His people are brought low, He saves them (Psalm 116:6)
  6. He has been good to His people (Psalm 116:7)
  7. He has delivered His people from death (Psalm 116:8)
  8. He has delivered His people's eyes from tears (Psalm 116:8)
  9. He has delivered His people's feet from stumbling (Psalm 116:8)
  10. He has delivered His people from death, that they may walk before Him (Psalm 116:8-9)
  11. He has delivered His people's eyes from tears, that they may walk before Him (Psalm 116:8-9)
  12. He has delivered His people's feet from stumbling, that they may walk before Him (Psalm 116:8-9)
  13. He has delivered His people from death, that they may walk before Him in the land of the living (Psalm 116:8-9)
  14. He has delivered His people's eyes from tears, that they may walk before Him in the land of the living (Psalm 116:8-9)
  15. He has delivered His people's feet from stumbling, that they may walk before Him in the land of the living (Psalm 116:8-9)
  16. Precious in His sight is the death of His faithful servants (Psalm 116:15)
  17. He has freed His people from their chains (Psalm 116:16)
  18. His Love toward His people is great (Psalm 117:2)
  19. His Faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:3)
  20. He brings those who cry to Him when they are hard pressed into a spacious place (Psalm 118:5)
  21. He is with His people; He is their helper (Psalm 118:7)
  22. He is His people's helper (Psalm 118:7)
  23. It is better to take refuge in Him than to trust in humans (Psalm 118:8)
  24. It is better to take refuge in Him than to trust in princes (Psalm 118:8)
  25. In His Name His people cut down all the nations surrounding them (Psalm 118:10)
  26. In His Name His people cut down all the nations surrounding them on every side (Psalm 118:10-11)
  27. In His Name His people cut down all the nations surrounding them on every side, swarming around them like bees (Psalm 118:10-12)
  28. In His Name His people cut down and consume as quickly as burning houses all the nations surrounding them on every side, swarming around them like bees (Psalm 118:10-12)
  29. He helps those who are pushed back and about to fall (Psalm 118:13)
  30. He is His people's defense (Psalm 118:14)
  31. He has become His people's salvation (Psalm 118:14)
  32. His right hand has done mighty things (Psalm 118:15)
  33. His right hand is lifted high (Psalm 118:16)
  34. He has chastened His people severely (Psalm 118:18)
  35. He has chastened His people severely, but He has not given them over to death (Psalm 118:18)
  36. He caused the stone the builders rejected to become the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22-23)
  37. He caused the stone the builders rejected to become the cornerstone, and it is marvelous in the eyes of His people (Psalm 118:22-23)
  38. This very day, He caused the stone the builders rejected to become the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22-24)
  39. He has made His light shine on His people (Psalm 118:27)
  40. Those who walk according to His law are blessed (Psalm 119:1)
  41. Those who keep His statutes are blessed (Psalm 119:2)
  42. Those who seek Him with all their heart are blessed (Psalm 119:2)
  43. Those who seek Him with all their heart, doing no wrong are blessed (Psalm 119:2-3)
  44. Those who seek Him with all their heart, doing no wrong, but following His ways are blessed (Psalm 119:2-3
  45. He has laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed (Psalm 119:4)
  46. His laws are Righteous (Psalm 119:7)
  47. A young person can stay on the path of purity by living according to His Word (Psalm 119:9)
  48. There are wonderful things in His law (Psalm 119:18)
  49. He broadens His people's understanding (Psalm 119:32)
  50. His unfailing love comes to His people according to His promise (Psalm 119:41)
  51. His salvation comes to His people according to His promise (Psalm 119:41)
  52. His Word is the Word of Truth (Psalm 119:43)
  53. His people walk about in freedom, for they have sought out His precepts (Psalm 119:45)
  54. His promise preserves His people's lives (Psalm 119:50)
  55. His decrees are the theme of His people's song (Psalm 119:54)
  56. He is His people's portion (Psalm 119:57)
  57. The earth is filled with His Love (Psalm 119:64)
  58. He does what is Good (Psalm 119:68)
  59. His hands made people and formed people (Psalm 119:73)
  60. In Faithfulness He afflicts His people (Psalm 119:75)
  61. His Word is eternal (Psalm 119:89)
  62. His Word is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens (Psalm 119:89)
  63. He established the earth (Psalm 119:90)
  64. He established the earth, and it endures (Psalm 119:90)
  65. His laws endure to this day (Psalm 119:91)
  66. His laws endure to this day, for all things serve Him (Psalm 119:91)
  67. All things serve Him (Psalm 119:91)
  68. By His precepts He preserves His people's lives (Psalm 119:93)
  69. To all perfection there is a limit, but His commands are boundless! (Psalm 119:96)
  70. He Himself has taught His people (Psalm 119:102)
  71. His Word is a lamp for His people's feet (Psalm 119:105)
  72. His Word is a light on His people's path (Psalm 119:105)
  73. His statutes are His people's heritage forever (Psalm 119:110)
  74. His statutes the joy of His people's hearts (Psalm 119:110)
  75. He rejects all who stray from His decrees (Psalm 119:118)
  76. He rejects all who stray from His decrees, for their delusions come to nothing (Psalm 119:118)
  77. All the wicked of the earth He discards like dross (Psalm 119:119)
  78. His people's flesh trembles in fear of Him (Psalm 119:120)
  79. His people stand in awe of His laws (Psalm 119:120)
  80. His statutes are wonderful (Psalm 119:129)
  81. The unfolding of His Words gives light (Psalm 119:130)
  82. The unfolding of His Words gives understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130)
  83. He always turns to those who love His Name (Psalm 119:132)
  84. He always has mercy on those who love His Name (Psalm 119:132)
  85. His laws are Right (Psalm 119:137)
  86. The statutes He has laid down are Righteous (Psalm 119:138)
  87. The statutes He has laid down are fully trustworthy (Psalm 119:138)
  88. His promises have been thoroughly tested (Psalm 119:140)
  89. His Righteousness is everlasting (Psalm 119:142)
  90. His law is True (Psalm 119:142)
  91. He is near (Psalm 119:151)
  92. All His commands are True (Psalm 119:151)
  93. He established His statutes to last forever (Psalm 119:152)
  94. All His Words are True (Psalm 119:160)
  95. All His Righteous laws are eternal (Psalm 119:160)
  96. His people's hearts tremble at His Word (Psalm 119:161)
  97. All His people's ways are known to Him (Psalm 119:168)
  98. He teaches His people His decrees (Psalm 119:171)
  99. All His commands are Righteous (Psalm 119:172)


(Sylvia's already made it to - past - 10,000!  So amazing to think of who He is like this!)

<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:


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