By Your Mighty Power

Today I was supposed to pray Psalm 58.  I’ve been praying (as best I can) a Psalm each day but Psalm 58 does not lend itself well to prayer.  What do you do with “he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked”?

Thankfully God also had me in Jeremiah this morning.  And Jeremiah 32 is full of great words of prayer.  It really starts about verse 17 and continues (for the most part) to the end of the chapter.  Some of it is Jeremiah praying and other parts are the Lord speaking but they are great words.

So many things happened yesterday.  I thought I was emotionally drained around 11 but it turns out I was not empty yet.  God had a lot more planned and He never left me empty.  By the end of the day, I knew my blessings were beyond measure.  You really have no idea how blessed I am by my Father.  I could go on forever (maybe even literally).  Even with the sadness, I have seen it.  Held on to it as best I could.  I suppose the more honest wording would be I held on to God or, better yet, He held on to me.

We really have no idea what is planned for today but we know that “You show unfailing love to thousands.” (Jeremiah 32:18)  And God “takes delight in doing good” (Jeremiah 32:41) to His people.  Oh I wish I could share all the words from that chapter with you.  Just go read it.  Maybe a few times.  🙂

I do indeed feel the sadness looming in my soul but I know that God will hold on to me regardless of my emotional state.

So how pray tell did I pray Psalm 58?  “Lord, may my life glorify you.  Amen.”

I Will Put

I will put…

“But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the LORD. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God and they will be my people.”  –Jeremiah 31:33

God seems to do this work.

As I have read Revelation quite a bit recently, I noticed that the people in heaven throw themselves to the ground and worship God often.  It seems more often than we do now.  Then I was thinking upon Job when I noticed that right after everything was taken from him, he too threw himself down with his face to the ground and worshiped.  I asked myself if I do the same.  I remember falling on the ground but that is almost always in desperate prayer.  Yet there may have been an occasion where it was done in worship.

Jeremiah 31:12 uses the word radiant.  Will words ever lose the depth of their meaning?  When you associate people with words, those words tend to acquire a meaning unique to you towards them.  I have many such words.  Radiant, light, and thunder are all now associated with different people.  Quite interesting how the mind creates these connections.  And each one of these began only recently.  Words bring memories.

I know much happened yesterday but the words do not arrive in the manner in which I want them to so I continue to erase them.  Most of the day was a 6-7 but falling back down to a 4-5 in the evening.  Talks with the kids.  Kristen wanted to read the story of Samson after her algebra take home test so we did.  Those are the best the words will get on yesterday.

Time for today…

Where I Sent You As Exiles

Yesterday did not turn out as bad as I had felt it might.  The morning was rough.  I lost control a few times.  Regained myself before working hours began.  I almost lost it during the noon counseling session with a couple but was able to recover before they noticed.  I tried to pray that afternoon but I think I fell asleep for 30 minutes.  Last night’s session wasn’t too bad.

I read a bit more of the “Don’t Follow Your Heart” book last night and this morning.  It has been very good for me.  Throw in Psalm 55 – Cast your burden on God, Trust in the Lord.  I asked myself if this is really a lack of trust.  It does not feel like it.  I feel like I trust Him with everything.  One thing I read in the book was about Job – the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  It was a good.  It also talked about God takes away both sinful and righteous affections of our hearts.

I am looking forward to lunch today.  I get to give a book to the possible atheist/agnostic.  I have been waiting for God to provide an opportunity.  It is not a heavy book.  I think it is probably the perfect book for this situation.  I am thankful for the ability to read and remember books that could benefit people.  I am thankful to be able to afford to give books away and that God may even use them to draw people to Him.

Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the LORD for it. For as it prospers you will prosper.  –Jeremiah 29:7

This morning in Jeremiah, I read about the exiles.  I remember how we are exiles too.  I would say this really works well for our needs now.  We still find wives for our sons and husbands for our daughters.  We still work so that where we are prospers.  So that people flourish (yes, I really love that word).

I have two note cards I made a few weeks back.  One says “How can I help you flourish?” and the other says “Who can I help flourish?”.  I do not answer that as often as I should.  I went through most (all?) of my note cards from the past few years yesterday.  That was interesting.  I pulled out two as reminders.

Today, I do not want to lie to myself to achieve joy and peace in my spirit.

Sing Praises

Today, I woke up with the burden.  It hangs heavy.  Jeremiah 20:18 was particularly powerful this morning.

Why did I ever come forth from my mother’s womb?
All I experience is trouble and grief,
and I spend my days in shame.

Yet we remember quite clearly Psalm 47 from yesterday.  Specifically verses 6-7.

Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm!

Sing praises.

Depend On Mere Flesh

Fire can purify.

This morning Jeremiah 17:5 –

The LORD says,  “I will put a curse on people who trust in mere human beings,  who depend on mere flesh and blood for their strength, and whose hearts have turned away from the LORD.”

My note from 2015-03-19 – “When you are alone with God and God alone, there is no one else to put trust in.  Remember.”

Jeremiah is an amazing book.  I feel like I read it a lot but not enough.

I am thankful for the notes I keep on Bible verses.  I am thankful too that I date my notes.  I didn’t date them right at the beginning and those notes are difficult to find full meaning.  Strange I know but information helps align things.

Last night, well, it was victorious because of Christ.  Read Romans 8-14 out loud.  It just felt like victory.  The real question is will this victory continue today.  I think I slept last night until 3:38 which is good.  My mind feels refreshed.

I wrote down a few things last night that I want to accomplish in victory today.  It has been a while since I have done that.

My words are few today.  My mind is full.

You Give Me Strength

Today’s verse from Jeremiah is a portion of Jeremiah 16:19.

“LORD, you give me strength and protect me.  You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble.”

I will try to hold on to that one today.

Yesterday was not too bad.  This morning I woke up and talked to God.  After my shower, I began reading and the crushing weight fell upon me.

Someone suggested I try to change up my routine in an attempt to divert my mind.  And there are ways I could do this but there are also many days that going through the routine is what helps me get through the day.  I remember speaking about this before many years ago.  I developed the habit of reading God’s Word every day.  I had been reading daily between 2.5 and 3 years when I had a “severe” attack.  I remember the day well.  I cried because I could not even open my Bible.  It was not until late morning (around 11am) that I was strong enough to read that day.

The compulsion to read His Word is so strong that I must do it.  And the days after that, I was thankful for His grace, His faithfulness that allowed me to listen to Him (as best I could).  If I had not had that anchor, then I believe that I may have been lost.  This is a change I cannot make.  Oddly I had someone suggest I stop reading the Bible for a few days, maybe two years ago they suggested this.

I have tried to think about the days I get out of bed merely from habit.  And the other days that I plead with God to get me out of bed.  How can I be happy when I feel incomplete?

Last week, driving back from Woodville, one of the conversations I had with God was asking why He would want me this way.  I do not know that I would look at me and say “hey, I want to be like that guy”.  Of course, now that I think about it, even happy why would anyone want to be like me?  (Just a bit of self-loathing this morning.)

Yesterday, I nearly cried in the pew as I told God I did not want to go through life alone.  Just call on the name of the Lord, the preacher said.  Just call on His name.  Romans 10.  Reading from Romans should have made me happy.  I should probably go to work and read that book.  I had enough strength to read just the one chapter of Jeremiah so far today.  I’ll get my Psalm in and then pray for more strength.  Maybe the Psalm is a prayer for strength.

I downloaded a free book called “Don’t Follow Your Heart” that I will also attempt to begin that.

This new week has started a bit rough but it is the LORD’s day.  He will be glorified.  Amen.

One Simple Like, One Simple Love

Yesterday someone asked how they could pray for me.  I told them rest or sleep for my mind and body.  They told me they would pray and that I would sleep well.  I slept better than I had the past few nights but not as I needed to.  I can say that my mind is clearer just not the level I would prefer.

Upon waking up, I started talking to God.  I have one simple love – Him.  And a desire of my heart is to love Him with someone who loves Him the same.  It seems rare to find that person who even understands what that means.  I see the look in most people’s eyes when I speak upon these things – no comprehension.  I do not imagine a fairy tale life but I do imagine a God glorifying life.  I believe I should settle for nothing less than a God glorifying relationship.  This may mean aloneness during this corporeal life.  God’s will be done.  And God be glorified regardless of my status.

Some people used to (maybe still do?) talk about only getting so many “likes” on things they post.  What if instead of not having enough likes, you have too many?  For example, one too many.

Yesterday wasn’t too bad.  I had five kids and quite a bit of fun.  I got an automated email that really knocked me down but I pretended everything was OK while I took five kids to DQ for Blizzards.  A good thing about five kids, you have to devote a significant amount of attention to them which does help with pretending.

I recovered quickly from this like we all recover from our problems.  Then I was hit with one too many likes on Facebook.  It wasn’t even anything I posted mind you.  The tailspin this created.  *sigh*  The mind recovered eventually only to be faced with this new day of love.  A worldly love that I find more and more difficult to grasp (maybe even on purpose).

So this morning, I read Jeremiah 15.

As your words came to me I drank them in, and they filled my heart with joy and happiness because I belong to you.  –Jeremiah 15:16

I skipped ahead a few days ago and read some verses from this chapter.  This being one of them.  I found that this idea is very true in my life.  God’s word fills my heart most (all?) days.  But service to the Lord does not currently do this.  My service to the Lord feels dead and my heart is the problem.  Then again this morning…

Because of this, the LORD said, “You must repent of such words and thoughts!  If you do, I will restore you to the privilege of serving me. If you say what is worthwhile instead of what is worthless, I will again allow you to be my spokesman.  They must become as you have been. You must not become like them.”  –Jeremiah 15:19

You must repent.  My heart does not want to say what is worthwhile.  Maybe my heart doesn’t even know if there is anything worthwhile – futile, futile says the teacher.  Maybe my heart would rather be dark and black.

This morning I will attend church service.  Blaine’s boy scout troop is doing something at the church.  This will be the first service I have attended in several weeks, maybe two months or more.  I do not want to check my calendar to give you (or me) and exact amount of time.  I know, repent.  No home to call my own.  The self-fulfilling prophecy.

I need to read and try to pray my Psalm this morning.

Fame, Honor, and Praise

I have been reading Revelation 4 and 5 quite a bit.  I have been reading it out loud.  If you do it right, it will lift your spirit in worship to the one true God.

This morning as I continued to read Jeremiah, I had a few verses pop out at me.  The last half of Jeremiah 13:11:

I intended for them to be my special people and to bring me fame, honor, and praise.

To bring me fame, honor, and praise.  Then later in the first part of Jeremiah 14:21:

For the honor of your name

I wonder why God selects verses for our minds at different times.  I realize He is teaching me even when I am not aware of it but why the verses He gives each day.  How they relate and combine to form a picture of a holy God worthy of fame, honor, and praise is amazing.

If you combine this with what He was showing me yesterday, I am reminded that in all circumstances the glory goes to God.  Yesterday after my normal reading, I read the book of Ephesians.  There are always good things to learn from a straight through reading and yesterday was “to the praise of His glory”.  This was not new to me but renewed in me.

The last three days have seemed less sad.  I told the kids last night that it felt like the “normal amount of sadness” that I live in as if I was out of this bout of depression.  I do not say this as confirmation of freedom (I wonder if I could ever really be free – thorn in my side).  Kristen thought it was funny how I speak of levels of sadness.  It is rather amusing when I think about it.

Went to visit Bethany and Dustin last night.  Bethany does not want to return to work and the level of “worry” over things that do not matter causes her to melt down.  After a few hours, the kids and I began to leave and she commented about the peace in the house.  She pointed it out to Dustin.  They had the girls plus Eli so there should have been madness but it was calm.  Just now I think about Jesus telling His disciples to allow their peace to come upon the houses they enter.  I wonder if God gives that gift to people today.

When we got home, we rented Inside Out.  None of us had seen it.  The tears were flowing, at least from my eyes.  Good movie.

In Jeremiah 13:17, Jeremiah said “I will weep alone because of your arrogant pride.”  Yes, that was also one of the verses God gave me this morning.  Weep alone.  Always alone.  Those last four words were the note on the verse from today.

I need to pray my Psalm as best I can and start breakfast.  Today is a Blizzard kind of day.

Care Nothing About You

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet.  This morning Jeremiah 11:5 started it out.

Then I will keep the promise I swore on oath to your ancestors to give them a land flowing with milk and honey. That is the very land that you still live in today. And I responded, “Amen! Let it be so, LORD!”

I was not really sure why that verse hit me.  I suppose it is a foreshadow of the promise of heaven.  I love Jeremiah’s response – “Amen! Let it be so, LORD!”

Then on to chapter 12.  Jeremiah tells the LORD that He has always been fair whenever he (Jeremiah) complained.  It is difficult to complain and yet very easy to complain.  Is the opposite of complaining, thankfulness?  If we practice thankfulness, do our complaints decrease?

Jeremiah saw the wicked and evil people prosper.  “They always talk about you, but they really care nothing about you.”  (Jeremiah 12:2).  The idea is reminiscent of Psalm 73.  I love the LORD’s answer – “If you have raced on foot against men and they have worn you out, how will you be able to compete with horses?”  (Jeremiah 12:5)

It is difficult to even begin to share how deeply that has been used in my life in the past.  And it is a good reminder today.

I attempt to monitor myself closely – body and mind.  I am not always successful obviously but it is a good practice.  Where in the cycle do you stand?  Are you stagnant, moving out of, or moving deeper into the cycle?  We can use past experience to predict future possibilities but even those are poor references.

Is God preparing you to compete with horses?

Even My Close Friend

The verses God gives me some days do not make sense to me.  (Or I don’t want them to.)

Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

–Psalm 41:9


Everyone must be on his guard around his friends.
He must not even trust any of his relatives.
For every one of them will find some way to cheat him.
And all of his friends will tell lies about him.

–Jeremiah 9:4

Oh there were more.  I could fill pages with all the words from Jeremiah God gives me.