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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quiet Time: What Can I Do

What Can I Do

I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me? 
– Psalm 101:1-2

I am convinced that we “do” quite a bit less than we pretend we can do.

 Perhaps that’s why it doesn’t take much to trip us up from doing what we know we ought to do. 

There are no less than eleven “I will” statements in Psalm 101 where David sings about his determination to make God’s wills his way. 

So, if this morning we need a little kick in the pants to get us moving in the right direction (like attending worship service with other believers) here’s a “to do” list directly from God’s hand to your heart.

It would probably be a good idea to make it personal.

(          your name here           )   will:

  1. Sing of God’s love and justice (Psalm 101:1)
  2. Sing God’s praise (Ps. 101:1)
  3. Walk the road of righteousness (Ps. 101:2)
  4. Lead my family to live right (Ps. 101:2)
  5. Look away from worthlessness (bliya-al) naughty, ungodly (Ps. 101:3)
  6. Will not live like the faithless (Ps. 101:3)
  7. Have nothing to do with evil (Ps. 101:4)
  8. Put to silence the slanderer (Ps. 101:5)
  9. Not tolerate the proud (Ps. 101:5)
  10. Hush the heinous (Ps. 101:8)
  11. Block the bad (Ps. 101:8)

What can I do?

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me 
(Philippians 4:13)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Quiet Time: The Face of Joy

The Face of Joy

Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." – Nehemiah 8:10

Des and I recently returned from a trip celebrating our twenty ninth marriage anniversary. While perusing the local arts and crafts in a Caribbean market, we were lamenting the fact that neither of us remembered to bring a bible. (Well, actually, I thought that I’d downloaded a bible app but as it turned out it didn’t work) One of the artists overheard our conversation and immediately handed us her pocket New Testament saying, “Here honey, take mine!” Of course we protested but she insisted; so, we gratefully accepted her gift and asked for her name so that we could record the moment in the front of the bible. She smiled and said, “Joy, my name is Joy!”  Immediately Des and I exchanged knowing glances as we simultaneously blurted out, “JOY!” 

You see, the night before Des and I left for the trip, our home bible study group was in a deep discussion regarding how the Thessalonian believers experienced joy in the midst of their trials. Someone spoke up and said, “I think we should all come back next week with a verse from the bible that talks about joy. Then, we can each share it, telling what we think God is saying in the verse and what makes it special to us.” Everyone thought that this sounded like a great idea, so our “no homework” bible study group assigned themselves homework with, well…joy!

As it turned out, Des and I returned from vacation the day of the next scheduled small group study. We couldn’t wait to hear how God had worked in the hearts of our little gang and of course share our remarkable experience with Joy. 

 Here’s a list of verses from some of our team members:  

Des, Psalm 71:23
Gail, John 15:11
Marie, Romans 15:13
Kathleen, Isaiah 35:1-2
Shelly, Job 33:36

We all rejoiced in the passages that each person offered, and the insights provided. Truth be known, we could’ve ended the bible study right after this time of sharing, but we pressed on and found ourselves with another homework assignment. 

Each one of us will try to return with a scripture reading about the unchanging goodness of God in times of trouble.

Des and I saw God’s goodness everywhere on our recent trip; but, none more clearly than when our blunder became God’s blessing. 

Father God heard our hearts cry to hear His voice and He provided by showing us the face of Joy.

Here’s a link to an early 90’s song by Twila Paris titled “The Joy of the Lord” that may help bring joy on your journey. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Song Series: God Is Here

God Is Here

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation.    Selah     – Psalm 68:19

The psalmist, in Psalm 68: 19, places a pause, a fermata if you will at the end of verse 19 to make the singers and the musicians stop and think about what they just sang. Sometimes, I think we need more pauses within our worship services to allow for contemplation of what we’re singing, saying, or listening to in a sermon.   

Too often we fill up every second of the worship gathering with words or music; it’s almost as if we hate silence!?

Try this during your next worship service when something grabs your attention, whether it is a line from a worship song, a scripture reading, or a phrase from the pastor: 
  1. Close your eyes and quietly contemplate what God is saying at that moment.  
  2. Now, write it down.
  3. When you get home, if it wasn’t a scripture reference that caught your attention, but song lyrics or something said, try to locate the scripture text that supports the lyric or phrase and spend at least 15 minutes meditating on it. (Good Resources:,,  
  4. Pray the bible verse back to God and ask Him to help you walk it out in the here and now. (Example: God, You are my LORD, thank you for daily bearing my burdens. Jesus, You are the God who is my salvation. It isn’t about what I’ve done but about what You did for me on the cross. Father, help me to live today burden free and to stand firm on what You’ve done for me. Amen.)

When we walk out our faith in Christ practically, we can better sense His presence, and experience the God Who is always with us – God Is Here right now.

Here's Darlene Zscheck explaining the story behind the song "God Is Here"

Here's New Breed singing the song live.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Song Series: Give Me Faith

Give Me Faith 
Read: James 4:7-10
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 
– James 4:8

God may rip your heart out…but then He gives you a brand new one in return! (Hosea 6:1). 

A great place to be is humbled before God, for when we are weak we become strong (2 Cor. 12:10). 

“Give Me Faith” reminds me that there is sweetness in weakness. 

That said, I need to remember too, that God may:
  • Hurt me to heal me and help me to draw near. (Deut. 32:39 and Job 5:18) 
  •  Demand that I clean out my closet and commit to Him alone (1 Sam. 7:3)  
  • Let me experience extreme pressure, but not for nothing (Psalm 6:2)
 Here’s a helpful link to free stuff being offered by Elevation Church from the album  “For the Honor”:

Sermon Bumper for the Song: 
You've lost faith. In leadership. In the economy. In God. You've even lost faith in yourself. You had it. You lost it. It's time to get it back. 
(Here’s the link to the sermon video:

 Losing faith in oneself is not necessarily a bad thing; frankly it could be the best thing that ever happens to us.

DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing  Steven Furtick or the  sermon, so view at your own risk and shame on you if you “check your brain at the door” with anything you listen to or read – including this B.D.D.  blog.