Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Psalm’

As The Deer

picture of deer

picture of deer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We sang this song this morning in church written by Martin Nystrom based on Psalm 42.  Most of us are familiar with the first verse. The thirsty deer panting for water, and in our mind we see it – the deer finding a cool stream and lapping up water in the same way a puppy does, with reckless abandon because they are thirsty.  It is with this same abandon and longing that the writer of this favorite Psalm is saying that he too – longs and is actually thirsty for – God.  And then the chorus – “You alone are my strength and shield to you alone may my spirit yield – you alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship thee”.  Beautiful.

But most of us are not as familiar with the other verses.  They paint a picture of friendship with God – even though He is also a King.  Friendship with the King of the Universe – it is mind-staggering.  Imagine this:

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of ...

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England. Credit: Library and Archives Canada/K-0000047 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You live in England and somehow “run into”  Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth.  You strike up a conversation and find out that you have many things in common.  You make arrangements to get together on a more personal level – perhaps a little dinner at Buckingham palace – a midnight stroll around the grounds and an overnight stay followed up by breakfast served to your suite and then some more quality time together for the rest of the day.  How can this happen, you say?  Because you are now ‘a friend’ of the royal couple.  How much more special this is when considering who we are – and who God is.  He is far superior to any Royalty set up here on earth.  Far more powerful, has all the wealth, all the status and chooses us to have as friends.

But the third verse talks about the most beautiful picture of all.  Something near and dear to our heart – known as “the apple of my eye”.

It's the same Apple logo, but in gold.

It’s the same Apple logo, but in gold. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Think about that one person that is so special – so important, you would do anything for them – move heaven and earth to be with them, you love them with all your heart and soul.  Maybe it’s a child, spouse of friend.  Maybe it’s something you’ve invested in like a job or a personal possession.  Maybe it’s an animal that is like family to you.  Whatever it is – you love with everything you have.  The picture is this:  No matter how important these things and people and even pets are to us – they are only temporal.  People make mistakes, they hurt us and let us down.  We lose possessions through fire, theft and age.  Animals and people die.  And at the end of the day – they do not satisfy us in the way we were designed.   God is eternal, does not fail us – will never let us down like others do.  He is the only one who can satisfy the deep longing and aching in our soul because He designed us this way – a perfect hole in our soul where only He fits perfectly.

Other things may satisfy temporarily like money, gold and silver, but the real joy and satisfaction come from God alone – He is the real joy giver – and the ‘apple of my eye’.

This was such a wonderful picture as I sat in worship service this morning beside all my wonderful new friends.  As you reflect on the words of this great song I am hoping that you too will be moved by the words.  That you will pause and really consider what they are saying to you.

 

God Bless

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

Chorus
You alone are my strength my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You’re my friend and You are my brother,
Even though you are a king.
I love you more thank any other,
So much more than anything.

I want You more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy Giver,
And the apple of my eye.

Can You Wait?


The following devotional appeared on my phone app the other day from bbh and I thought it was so good, I just had to share it with you.  We are all going through various trials and situations – I know that this will speak to someone today who really needs a little extra something.

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord – Psalm 27:14

“The reason that we many times do not see or feel the Lord is that we are not waiting on the Lord. We are still on our own timetable and we are still running madly ahead of God and hoping He will catch up to our plans. But that is not how God works. He doesn’t change just because we are fickle and He does not hurry just because we are impatient.

Believer, I do not doubt that your trial is real, that your burden is heavy, or that your discouragement is deep. But put your eyes upon this promise, wrap your mind around this word: when we wait courageously on the Lord, He will strengthen our hearts. God is never late and He is never insufficient.

What will the future bring? Wait on the Lord. When will this sorrow end? Wait on the Lord. How can I survive this ordeal? Wait on the Lord. How should I handle this decision? Wait on the Lord. The answer echoes through the tunnel of time and from the soundboard of millions of satisfied saints. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

The trial may not go away tomorrow, but neither will the strength that God has promised to give you. The pain may not diminish, but neither will His grace.”

Waiting on the Lord also means releasing.  There is a freedom when we know that we can release whatever we are holding on to.  I love that He will give more courage and strength when we simply - wait.  

If you are impatient by nature like me – then this is never easy.  God works behind the scenes and all around us while we are not aware – and His silence can often mean wait.  How often have I been impatient and like a spoiled child – DEMANDED my own way NOW!  When we jump ahead of God’s time-table for our lives – He will not stop us – but it is not the best plan for our lives.  The more mature we become – we are ready to accept that silence and waiting are a form of spiritual discipline.  It is not meant to punish us with the “silent treatment” like many people do when trying to get their own way – God does not think as we do.  His silence is meant to teach – and from waiting comes a spiritual depth and wisdom – found in no other way.

Next time you’re tempted to jump ahead of God – just ask yourself this:

What is God trying to teach me?  Could there be a reason He is not answering me?

When was the last time you had to wait?

God Bless

My Hiding Place…

hiding

Image by Susan NYC via Flickr

The following is an article I posted 2 years ago this monthI was still trying to make sense out of a situation that still makes no sense 2 years later – and at that time I was still thinking that it would.  Instead – 2 years later I now know that time isn’t always an accurate measurement of understanding – nor is it a rite of passage.  It is simply a journey we all must take – and what we do with the lessons along the way determines our joy or sorrow for the future.  If you are like me and have had setbacks in your life – or things happen that you did not fully understand – have ever questioned God or felt like you didn’t deserve things that transpired at the hand of another – then you will know what I felt like when I wrote this article.  My prayer is that it will bless and encourage your heart today. 
Have you ever felt like you needed a “Hiding Place”? 
What event in your past changed the way you look at life now?
 Habakkuk 3:19
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”
 
When I read the above scripture – I was moved.  I am a musician and have the heart and soul of an artist.  I am also told I am a “sanguine” deep and emotional – and while I can be the life of the party, I prefer being alone or being with a close friend – am very sentimental and easily wounded and sensitive.   I have always understood that I view the world a little differently than others do.  I am an “audio” learner – and even more – my friend John recently corrected me – I am a “kinesthetic” learner – which means I not only hear the music – but I get inside of it and breathe it in – and wrap it around me like a blanket and it becomes a part of me.
So the psalms and other scriptures about music and musicians really speak to me.  David was also a musician and I love the poetic way in which he writes – and many of the psalms were set to music back then – and even today we are still doing this.  There is something about the “artist” who is able to put the right spin on words to express and communicate a thought and paint a beautiful picture.  David really felt what he wrote and expressed – was deeply hurt, moved and lived life to the fullest.  I can appreciate his take on his journey through good and bad times – how he cried out to God and how sometimes he was just lost and didn’t know if God really heard - or cared.  I believe that even though he sometimes didn’t understand – he had a habit of going to God and pouring his heart out.  He knew where his safe “hiding place” was – away from the world of betrayal and hurt – away from his enemies who tried to destroy him – away from the prying eyes of those who would later come to judge him for his sin.
I have found a safe place in God’s presence – it is a place where I go to regain my sanity amidst a world gone mad – friends who are not friends anymore – and those who would judge my heart without knowing my heart.  And I find new purpose and resolve after being in this “hiding place” of mine.  And I find that I can make it after all.
Below is a beautiful music video based on a favorite Psalm of mine.  Enjoy – and allow God’s sweet spirit to penetrate into your secret “hiding place”  Allow Him to be that for you today.  He is trustworthy and dependable.  He will keep you safe.
God Bless

Fear Of Failure

Thoroughbred racing at Churchill Downs.

Image via Wikipedia

Heard an excellent message this morning from our pastor – “How to deal with Failure”.

I jotted down some thoughts while I was listening:

We have all failed.

We can let that failure make us better – or keep us bitter.

God uses failure in our lives to prepare us for better things.

It can be Fear of Failure that keeps us back and holds us down.

 

A few days ago my husband and I went to see ‘Secretariat‘.  And yes I am actually old enough to remember watching him race  in those ‘triple crown’ races in 1972-73.  It brought back many memories for me – and was thrilling to hearing the back story.  The film also had a common theme today with our pastor’s message.  Failure. The owner of that magnificent race horse – had experienced failure and set-backs.  She could have given in to defeat and even what she knew about the horse’s genetics – but she refused to give in to either.  She knew that horse was a winner and so against all odds – she believed and that belief empowered her.  Instead of being afraid – she pushed on – and Secretariat is still known today as the greatest race horse that ever lived – no race horse has come close to beating his record in 37 years.

When I heard the message today – I was reminded of that horse.  And of the horse’s owner, Penny.  She was completely convinced that her horse was the best – even though the horse had lost a race at first and others told her – to give up.  She stared failure in the face and didn’t bat an eye.  At a great financial gamble – she believed and made the investors believe too.

How much I would love to be like this.  Just because I know something is true – how often do I really believe it and act on it?  Stare fear in the face and not bat an eye?  Take my power back?  Not care about the whispers and humiliation set against me?  Push on past my own reputation and pride?  Get back up after failing and be changed and transformed through the experience? And most of all – see the blessing in it?

It’s hard.  I have failed.  I am just now seeing the blessing in that failure.  But at the time – I thought it would be what would take me down and steal my joy, my testimony and my walk.  And although I am no champion – like Secretariat and numerous others that have had set-back and failures that are far more high-profile than I – I would have to say that it is because of that failure and my response to it – that I am where I am today. I found God’s grace in the midst of pain and hurt.  I might never have discovered first hand how much He loves and forgives if it hadn’t been for my failure.  I might never have discovered how much my husband really loves and believes in me – or how many true friendships I have – how much they have my back and love me beyond my many mistakes.

The key is our response – not the fear of failure.  To fall down and be broken before our God -  but then to get back up. To allow that failure to create something gracious inside of us that sees past the shortcomings and failures of other people.   To allow grace, mercy, humility and love to be our close friends when dealing with other people.  And to release that champion in our hearts that just wants to run – free – just like that race horse.

Here is a beautiful passage of scripture from the Message Bible.  When I was listening to my friend lead worship on a youtube video – she quoted a portion of this Psalm and it is so fitting when speaking about failure.

Psalm 51

1-3Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.

4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I’ll let loose with your praise.

16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,
acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
they can heave onto your altar!

 

May you find that this new week  steeped in ‘chaos’ – is actually a ‘Genesis’ week – a new beginning – rich with possibilities and newness.  And no fear of failure.

 

God Bless

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