A Psalm of Lament

.

A Cry to God

 

I’m not very fancy at praying

(But that’s no secret to You)!

Often, Your Spirit’s groanings

Are about all that I can do.

 

So maybe if I write it out,

In the early morning calm,

My prayer will be more clear—

In this heartfelt, humble psalm.

 

My Hardship

 

My prayer to You, today, Lord,

Comes from a broken heart:

Losing people has always hurt

Repeatedly—from the start.

 

First Dad, then Sam, then

Friends and relatives slipped away,

And, of course, that awful church split

Was a devastating day.

 

Now Mom, Crystal, and Jane,

And also the kids and grandkids:

I see I’d idolized these people:

They were my purpose, I admit.

 

I know Your otherworldly peace,

But just like in the Garden,

I’ve disobeyed Your commands;

I desperately need Your pardon!

  

Confession of Trust

 

No one else can give me hope

But Jesus, My Savior, alone,

Who took on death for my sins:

Each one of them atoned.

 

Lord, You can do anything at all,

In your great love everlasting;

You’re every single place I go,

And you know every single thing.

 

Nothing escapes Your awesome control,

Yet You’re perfect, holy, and set apart;

And You’ve never told a single lie,

And you have a gracious, merciful heart.

 

You never—never—ever change:

I can take Your promises to the bank;

You have blessed me in many things,

And for these, Lord, I give thanks.

 

  

Petition for Deliverance

 

I still have David and lots of friends,

And I’m serving in new places;

But I ask for faith in the meantime,

While I miss these loved ones faces.

 

I know full well, Dear Father,

I have no reason to complain:

Help me keep Your Word daily:

Draw me close—again and again!

 

Remind me of my hope in my Savior,

As here on earth, for heaven I wait;

And any friends who are there with You?

Please have them greet me at the Gate!

 

 

Praise for Answering

 

I praise You, Awesome Creator,

Of all my loved ones and me.

You’ve already provided peace—

Your perfect love I can feel and see.

 

You’ve given to me Spiritual fruit:

Kindness, love, joy, and peace;

Now I ask for some self-control?

And a dose of patience, please!

 

I have a happy, worshipful feeling

That You’re hearing me today;

And, Lord, I’m so very thankful—

That YOU’LL never go away!

.

.

.

.

.

 

Posted in AAA Laura's Favorites :), Christianity, Mind Matters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yeast.

= – = – =

It had been awhile since we’d had otherworldly food:

We were fallow, and spiritually broke.

So the devil sent a guy—with good things to say:

An attractive, amiable bloke!

= – = – =

We forgot Jesus’ warning about yeast in the bread,

How it permeates, incites, and ferments,

And these “good things to say” caused a real stirring up!

(But what this guy said was not what he meant.)

= – = – =

All this started to brew, till we were all quite puffed up:

…It rose… and it rose… and it rose.

A self-focused teacher managed to worm in his lies;

This is how indoctrination grows.

= – = – =

So where did this leave us, when we finally saw

That the yeast had risen to a froth?

Overgrown and reeking, arrogant, and bloated,

Misled by a “man of the cloth.”

= – = – =

So the next time we’re hungry for spiritual truth,

We’ll remember what Jesus said:

Guard who we listen to (we learned the hard way):

Like yeast, false doctrine spreads!

= – = – =

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Posted in AAA Laura's Favorites :), Christianity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hope Factor

I just heard a couple of devotionals: the first, about our tendency to want paradise on earth (not possible); the second was on our response to this (non-paradise) earth: cursing, or mourning. I see a common theme, which I will dub The Hope Factor.

Having just read an excellent book called “Counterfeit Gods” (by Timothy Keller), I’ve been talking about hidden idols, such as love, comfort, control (and all the stuff that goes with them). So my friend shared these two devotionals: quite apropos. The topic on the table, then, is gifts for later—but we want them NOW.  We’re melancholy when we should be joyful, discontented when we should be thankful. We could be enjoying abundant life, but instead we choose to curse our way to Paradise?

Something’s wrong with this picture.

Think about your current problem. Now take a moment and think about what it’s doing to your head. …. See what I mean? Even the wise among us struggle with the fallen world, frustrating work, and fallible people.  It’s when we let it overwhelm us that we have lost our focus.

What we really crave is love, and only God can deliver it the way we need it. We’re “looking for [Him] in all the wrong places.”

Keller mentions three unstable responses to our disappointments:

—- Blame people or things =  Continued idolatry

—- Blame yourself  =  Self-loathing

—- Blame the world  =  Cynicism and emptiness

What’s needed is reorienting our focus toward God, realizing we were made for another world. Wanting everything to be hunky-dory on this willy-nilly planet is just plain foolish; it’ll disappoint us every time. But finding God’s perspective is a good thing.  It’s keeping earthly things where they belong. It’s sweeping the idols away and filling that space with something excellent. It’s looking forward to a wonderful paradise. THAT, my friends, is The Hope Factor.

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Posted in Christianity, Mind Matters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

59 and Holding

Next week I begin my 60th year. (What the heck??? !)  I decided to look it up and—to my relief—according to Wikipedia, I’ve still got plenty of time in middle-age. (Whew.)

Being a “suddenly-emptied” nester, I find myself often in the company of a demographic that’s, well, older. In writing this, I sought a gentler word; “mature” popped up. Hmmm. Sadly, that’s not always the case. No matter our locale, no matter our age, it seems we always wind up at a table with the wise, wincing at the wearisome; the reliable, reasoning with the ridiculous; the funny, frustrated by the infuriating.

It’s temping, at those times, to sit in judgment. We assess ourselves as the wise, reasonable, funny guest—speculating which goofball invited that wearisome, ridiculous, infuriating chatterbox. Then THUMP! It hits us: we ALL have our days where we can be any (or all) of the above. Seriously, how dare we categorize? Which of us can honestly say that we have “arrived”?

It’s at these junctures that God does His best work. Life moves forward when we take time to let our trajectory redirect. Sometimes that entails taking the risky jump off our high-horse.  By the same token, it’s extremely sad when people leave that table, go home, and wake up the next morning—not moving forward: fallow periods, wandering on wearisome; remaining ridiculous; finally infuriating.

Take it from somebody 59 and holding: Age. Doesn’t. Matter.  We’ve seen 8-year-olds with enough wherewithal to change the world, and 80‑year‑olds that could use a good tar-and-feathering. While there’s a lot we can’t control, one thing we DO get to choose every day: our own conduct, development, and growth.

Paul said it well: “I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. …  let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”

There’s much to learn through interaction with the wise, wearisome, reliable, ridiculous, funny, and infuriating. John Lennon also said it well (albeit possibly not meaning this context): “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

So how about let’s hit those lovely tables today, and make the most of it!

Posted in Christianity, Mind Matters, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Don’t Ask Enough

= – =

I don’t ask enough:

Of the One

Who can give me much!

= – =

So I flounder alone,

Confused,

In self-pity and such:

= – =

Wasted time—

In dire need—

Of The Master’s Touch.

= – =

But amazingly,

In spite of myself,

Still, Lord, You give me much!

= – =

I want to feel better,

Do better, love better,

But sometimes it’s just too much.

=-=

I need Your help—

‘Can’t do it alone—

So, Lord! Today, I ask You Much!

= – =

 

Posted in AAA Laura's Favorites :), Christianity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The UNITED states

Thank you, public servants,
Donald and Barack:
So far, we still have freedoms—
To defend, worship, and talk.

And though I don’t agree
With everything you do,
I’m thankful for a government—
And to vote for you… or you.

They say the Country’s divided;
But let me say one thing:
We are still one nation!
(And I still serve one King!)

So… as you serve us daily,
I just ask you to recall
Countries collapsing in chaos:
Please! Don’t let us fall!

And, finally, while I’m at it,
To Americans who shout and curse:
How ’bout you cut some slack?
We could do a whole lot worse!

Posted in America, Christianity, Prayer Needs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“10% Happier”

After he suffered a panic attack on national television, journalist Dan Harris made a change. No, I haven’t read his book on meditation, 10% Happier, but it resonated with me after viewing a documentary on minimalism.

“Ten percent happier”: I like that. For me, lately, that’s a margin out of the danger zone.

After a string of situational changes in recent years, I’m quite behind the eight ball in properly filling the voids: “But My people did not listen to My voice…“So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.”

It took a severe blow, recently, to wake me up! Writing right now, I can hear Jon Voight playing Patrick Gates in “National Treasure”, warning of what can happen if we don’t change the status quo!

So, thus far in 2017 I’m in a new mode: a pro active approach. This means provisions for my weakness, planning, enrolling, engaging, studying, and—most importantly—shaking up the stinkin’ thinkin’ that plays on an endless loop.

I told somebody recently I’m coming out of a “dark period.” I do believe this is true. [Praise God for that. Amen, may it be so!] But for continued forward movement, I’m going to have a real fight on my hands against resuming auto-pilot mode. Thankfully, I’ve never shied away from organization and a little hard work. With the help of God, and “with a little help from my friends,” I’m going to keep shaking things up!

Happy New Year!

 

Posted in America, Christianity, Health, Keeping up Appearances, Mind Matters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment