Taste and See the Lord is Good!

In celebration and in honor of what God has done in healing my mom from the injuries she sustained in her fall a year ago, I wanted to focus on Psalm 34 for our Psalm Saturday edition this week.

David penned Psalm 34 after he escaped from Gath. We see him reflect on God’s goodness, praising the Lord for His faithfulness in delivering His people from trouble. David exults the Lord and calls on all God’s people to lift up praises to Him.

As a believer, I wonder how successfully I live out verse 1. Do you? It’s one thing to praise God when things are good, but as I’m sure you’ve experienced too, it can be difficult to remember to continue praising the Lord during a storm.

We can trust that God hears and responds to our prayers because David reminds us here, as he does so many times in Psalms, that he has personally experienced the Lord answering his cries for help in times of great distress. In our 21st century culture, overrun with busyness and overwhelmed by noise, it may be hard to see, hear, and taste God.

Yet, He is there.

Mom falling and breaking her ankle in multiple places came on the heels of saying farewell to my friend Mark, a beloved and godly man who modeled Christ for so many of us. Emotionally it was a dark time whose clouds I feel I’m just now emerging out from under.

Today, I’m overjoyed that Mom is completely healed and that the Lord continues to bless her, love her, watch over her, and care for her. She is a blessing to a ton of folks, including me. Her joyous spirit remains strong and vibrant, showering love on all those who know her. She is a faithful friend. She has a kind heart and is thoughtful of others, calling them on their birthdays, sending them cards on special occasions. She is determined and resilient. A lifelong learner, she continues to work on her craft as an artist. She loves people and she loves the Lord.

Yes, taste and see that the Lord is good. Indeed, He is.

Psalm 34 New Living Translation (NLT)

A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.

1 I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
2 I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
3 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.

4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
12 Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
    not one of them is broken!

21 Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
    No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm Saturday

For my upcoming birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Trusted World. I’ve chosen this nonprofit because I know their CEO personally and I know that the TW team will put any funds raised to excellent use.
I believe in Trusted World’s mission and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal.

If you’d like to donate you can do so here.

 

Do Not Be Dismayed

This week I have been reminded of the importance of putting on the whole armor of God daily. You can bet that if you’re working anywhere close to the front lines of ministry that you will battle the enemy, who seeks to silence you, discourage you, and thwart your efforts on behalf of the Kingdom of God. Do not be dismayed.

The Apostle Paul gave the Christians worshipping in Ephesus some very sound sage advice, explaining to them to be prepared for combat not only against things seen, but also things unseen. Paul understood that powerful forces existed then, as they do now, desiring to derail our ministry and destroy our witness as we seek to share the love of Jesus with a hurting and ailing world.

Fortunately, our power and strength does not rest in ourselves, but in the Almighty God we serve. Therefore, we can go forward with confidence that God is with us, fighting on our behalf, clearing the path of obstacles attempting to be roadblocks as we go about doing the work He has called us to do.

How can I pray for you?

Blessings.

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“When the enemy comes with shame and blame, tell him to go measure the distance from east to west and get back to you.”-Louie Giglio

The Whole Armor of God

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we  are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT)

 

Psalm Saturday: Psalm 9 Gratitude

Gratitude is an amazing thing. When I get down, shifting my focus from what’s bugging me to the numerous things I should be grateful and thankful for immediately changes my perspective. Gratitude reminds me that even when things look bleak, there is way more good in this world than we can always readily see. It is difficult, if not downright impossible, to be angry or worried when I am grateful. Hatred cannot exist for long in a grateful heart.

In Psalm 9, we witness David praising God for demonstrating His righteousness in judging wicked nations, providing deliverance for David from his enemies, and for being a trustworthy God. These themes repeat themselves through many of David’s psalms. Even though he experienced trouble, some directly of his own making, David never lost sight of the goodness of God and the incredible things the Lord had done in his life.

Like David, we should remember the Lord’s past acts of demonstrated grace and undeniable mercy in our lives so that we can be sure to praise Him publicly for these wonderful things He has done. God’s past faithfulness gives us confidence in His present and future trustworthiness. God remains faithful today and forever.

Psaturday Psalm

 

Psalm 9

To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.

1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3 When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. 4 For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.

5 You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out; the very memory of them has perished.

7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, 8 and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness.

9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! 12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13 Be gracious to me, O Lord! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. 16 The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah

17 The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.

19 Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! 20 Put them in fear, O Lord! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah

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