Many in the world today understand the importance of looking around to be aware of others in need, so we can help. As a Christian I know that the Bible both encourages and commands us to care for others. But the Lord tells us that even before we look out to others, we should first look up to Him. The first 15 verses of Psalm 105 are also recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:8-22. There is a lot of meaningful stuff in these passages and Psalm 105:4 is no exception: “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” (NIV). The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “Seek and deeply long for the Lord and His strength [His power, His might]; Seek and deeply long for His face and His presence continually.” I can’t continually seek God’s face if I am only paying attention to my own agenda—even when my agenda is filled with things that are good or even necessary.
Could He really be thinking “You’re all my favorites?” What about when I am not my best self? When I am cranky, selfish, too worn out to care? I’m not even sure I deserve to be a wife or mother some days. I don’t deserve to be anyone’s favorite. Certainly not the God of the universe! That’s when I need to be reminded that God doesn’t love me because of who I am; he loves me because of who he is.
It was amazing how the faux brick surrounding the colorful mural blended in with the surroundings, making the mural itself stand out even more. So, I’m thinking, as human beings, should we be blending in like the “brick” or working to stand out like the mural? It’s so much easier to blend in even when we are forty-something years old and middle school is far behind us. We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves; we don’t want to upset people; we are too busy with our own day to respond to, or even notice, the needs of others. Standing out is difficult. It takes energy. It’s uncomfortable. Yet, that’s exactly what Jesus asks us to do.
We find the book of Psalms near the center of our Bible. Written by David and numerous other authors, these songs, prayers and poems celebrate God with praise and worship, cry out to God from the depths of despair, and everything in between. The honesty of the Psalms can guide us into a deep and genuine relationship with God. Join Holly, Marilyn, Viv, and Jan as we focus on how the Psalms comfort us, caution us, and instill confidence in the one true God.
Today has been one of those days from the start. After a couple of snoozes on my bedside alarm clock, I got up to turn off my phone alarm over on the dresser (does anyone else have to put their alarm across the room?). Standing at the foot of the bed, I considered my options. My hair was too dirty to go one more day without washing; that would have been another 30 minutes of sleep. I could skip my morning workout, but I had skipped yesterday. I literally prayed for God to help me just stay out of bed. And so it went…
“My kids are at the age now where every good thing that happens for them is bittersweet,” I lamented to a friend recently. With three young adult/older teenage children, exciting opportunities abound: college acceptances, semesters abroad, internships in another city…you get the idea. Am I excited about the wonderful opportunities my children have? Of course! Am I a proud mama? You bet! I’m certainly not wishing they were unable or unwilling to do anything but sit on the couch with the remote. As parents, we work hard to help our children grow and mature. We strive to teach them what they need to know, be, and do to be independent; children leaving the nest (hopefully a little at a time) is the end game. Yet every flight away from the nest brings them farther from their Mom, and I don’t mean just geographically.