Santa Clara, CA
| A Psalm|
Of the man
To rise up in protest
The self asserts
And brings him down
He screams for justice
At his predicament
At his advantage taken
No one sees
No one hears
No one cares
None to commiserate
None to appreciate
None to reciprocate
All that has been given
Away in love
And so he teeters
And is quite ready
To slip away
From it all
At the cliffs edge
A pebbles list
Fast to send him
All the years
He is well nigh
Ready to take
It has gone
For too long
There is no
Terms of endearment
"Better to Marry"
Than to burn
And to be
The Holy bounds
A stranger fire
Never to be
It is my
And my woe
For I find
That my story
Far too quick
And thwarts it's
It is thankful
To a point
It can either
Or burst the entrails
I have not left home
Nor taken flight
Off the precipice
I will go on
But I am ready to
I will fight
Or so it goes
It is weak
Still it has
And a pulse
It cannot please
It is a wretch
To the ankles
A sure mercy
It would be
To be destroyed
Now, it thinks
Another cop out
And a martyr
Is the man
His light affliction
A towering inferno
Has climbed up
On the throne
I would be
And it eludes
That I would
And it is
Far from me
That I would
If it goes
And if not
If not ...
Oh the cynic
And his complaint
How alluring your
Much in every way
Are you right
Whom they love
Yet can explain
Next to nothing
You hate the
Abstract and so
Do the many
All crying for
"[b]Devotional Thoughts[/b]". Fitting it seems. Sometimes it just seems abandon is called for. This little Psalm above is just ... cliff notes from the tortured mind and soul, this odd season in the Slough of Despond ... hyperbole and madness, eloquence and ... whatever, to use our modern parlance. It's been wild of late, I was wrong elsewhere, I do covet prayer, almost fear the day ahead, the tendency to be brought right into the realm of ... "Oh what's the use ..."
Thought some explanation of the above was in order. It's a battle, stronger than I have known, more perplexing and of a whole different ... makeup and assault. Part pity party. Part frustration. Part agony. Days and weeks it seems of breaking and being broken all over again, of crying out and silent response. Frustrations at home, frustrations at work, frustrations of faith ...
The atheist bit ... Spent some time last night over on Ray Comforts blog, reading through a great deal of it. Found much sinking even further of spirit from frankly, the responses of 'our' kind. Reasoning with reason, had more empathy for the Atheists or the apostates, even one, a 'former' "Christian", less in the odd interest to draw swords, but more in the points made about the arrogance and pride, the smarmy or sentimental counter points. Much more could be said.
So to my little pity party ... How dense. How slow to grasp. How easy to dismiss. Was given a gift certificate for Christmas and picked up a couple of cheap, used books. One, "Life's Ultimate Privilege" by DeVern Fromke. An excerpt;
"[i]Since this journal is primarily designed for beginners, we are attempting to first capture interest and then lead into God's Word. For those who have already established a fruitful time of fellowship with the Lord, this will seem very elementary.[/i]"
If you had to guess, in other words .. I just half checked out, [i]"I know all this[/i]" ... '[i]Great, what did I but this for ...[/i]'. To be fair there was that underlying thought that likely it is just what was needed, proud man, I thought.
It is actually woven very well with the seeming 'beginner stuff' with accounts and stories, but also quotes and clips from those most here would be familiar with. Am babbling ...
Smitten by a child, from this story, that I have heard before ...
The Hot Bottle Water - A True Story By Helen Roseveare
One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all that we could do, she died leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying, two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive. We had no incubator. We had no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.
A student-midwife went for the box we had for such babies and for the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly, in distress, to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates. "...and it is our last hot water bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk; so, in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over a burst water bottle. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways. All right," I said, "Put the baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm."
The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with many of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got chilled. I also told them about the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.
During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt consciousness of our African children. "Please, God," she prayed, "send us a water bottle. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, the baby'll be dead; so, please send it this afternoon." While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, " ...And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?" As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, "Amen?" I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything: The Bible says so, but there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!
Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time that I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the veranda, was a large twenty-two pound parcel! I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone; so, I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.
From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then, there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children began to look a little bored. Next, came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - - that would make a nice batch of buns for the weekend. As I put my hand in again, I felt the...could it really be? I grasped it, and pulled it out. Yes, "A brand-new rubber, hot water bottle!" I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!" Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone: She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, "Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?"
That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday School class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. One of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child -- five months earlier in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "That afternoon!"
Helen Roseveare a doctor missionary from England to Zaire, Africa, told this as it had happened to her in Africa. She shared it in her testimony on a Wednesday night at Thomas Road Baptist Church.
"[i]And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.[/i]" (Isaiah 65:24)
With gratitude to [url=http://living-testimony.blogspot.com/2006/10/hot-bottle-water-true-story-by-helen.html]Living Testimonies[/url]
For what it's worth, some follow up by search;
Plug in "The Hot Water Bottle" in the search function.
Just as interesting was to find this, here at SermonIndex;
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=450]The Cost of Declaring His glory[/url] [i]by Helen Roseveare[/i]
[b]Description:[/b] Helen Roseveare spoke this message in 1975, sharing candidly of personal tests and trials she underwent while serving as a medical missionary in the Congo (now Zaire), including pride, marital longings, prolonged illnesses, and beatings, rape and imprisonment by rebel forces. The cost of declaring the glory of the Lord Jesus costs all our heart, soul and body. "The branch," Roseveare says, "had to lose its leaves and flowers to become an arrow;" such is the privilege of sharing in the sufferings of the Lord Jesus.
Last and not least to this aimless bit ... Had moved some things around, decorating a bit for Christmas. Have a framed poster that I picked up at Walmart some years ago. It's part Psalm 28:7 with the back drop of the US flag and the twin towers, overlaid with the back of a fireman and his helmet and the text of Matthew 5:3-11 ... [i]Blessed[/i] ...
It is leaning against the wall at he moment and happened to look over at it for the thousandth time and yet this morning, it read differently;
The LORD is my strength and my shield; [b]my heart[/b] [u]trusted[/u] in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Psa 28:7
| 2008/1/10 10:40||Profile|
| Re: A Psalm|
I do covet prayer,
and you have it brother...
thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts
as a family we have just come back from a trip, and your title, A Psalm, got my attention...because it has been in the Psalms, where David pours his heart out before the Lord, that we have gain much comfort.
quote]The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Psa 28:7
also "I WAITED patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto out God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall strust in the Lord." Ps. 40:1-3
His nearness, is our good...
In His Love....the martins
Alan and Dina Martin
| 2008/1/10 13:20||Profile|
This post touched me brother crsschk.
I woke up with a yearning to hear Ravenhill. It was like a mourning type feeling.
I found these two to hit the spot.
Hope they bless also.
With my never ending intercessory prayers.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=6920]Christ Magnified in My Body 1[/url]
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=6921]Christ Magnified in My Body 2[/url]
| 2008/1/10 14:59|
| Re: A Psalm|
Brother, remember there will be other psalms;
psalms of steadfast lovingkindness, psalms
of hope and comfort, psalms of deliverance and
protection, psalms of God's manifest glory and
His purpose revealed !! ;-)
Martin G. Smith
| 2008/1/10 17:43||Profile|
God Can Make
The strain of my misery
Into the strength of His mercy
The storm of my feeling
Into the serenity of His faith
The wound of my hurt
Into the wonder of His healing
The bread of my adversity
Into the beauty of His adoration
The torment of my failure
Into the triumph of His favor
The guilt of my sin
Into the grace of His salvation
The confusion of my wandering
Into the clarity of His ways
The bitterness of my rebellion
Into the beauty of His righteousness
The groan of my wrestling
Into the glory of His resting
All things beautiful in His time
Alan and Dina Martin
| 2008/1/11 8:09||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: A Psalm|
[b]Psalm 88[/b] [i]NKJV[/i]
[i]A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. To the Chief Musician. Set to Mahalath Leannoth. A Contemplation[a] of Heman the Ezrahite.[/i]
O LORD, God of my salvation,
I have cried out day and night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.
I am counted with those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man who has no strength,
Adrift among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom You remember no more,
And who are cut off from Your hand.
You have laid me in the lowest pit,
In darkness, in the depths.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah
You have put away my acquaintances far from me;
You have made me an abomination to them;
I am shut up, and I cannot get out;
My eye wastes away because of affliction.
LORD, I have called daily upon You;
I have stretched out my hands to You.
Will You work wonders for the dead?
Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah
Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
But to You I have cried out, O LORD,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
LORD, why do You cast off my soul?
Why do You hide Your face from me?
I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;
I suffer Your terrors;
I am distraught.
Your fierce wrath has gone over me;
Your terrors have cut me off.
They came around me all day long like water;
They engulfed me altogether.
Loved one and friend You have put far from me,
And my acquaintances into darkness.
[i]"This psalm is a lamentation, one of the most melancholy of all the psalms; and it does not conclude, as usually the melancholy psalms do, with the least intimation of comfort or joy, but, from first to last, it is mourning and woe. It is not upon a public account that the psalmist here complains (here is no mention of the afflictions of the church), but only upon a personal account, especially trouble of mind, and the grief impressed upon his spirits both by his outward afflictions and by the remembrance of his sins and the fear of God's wrath. It is reckoned among the penitential psalms, and it is well when our fears are thus turned into the right channel, and we take occasion from our worldly grievances to sorrow after a godly sort. In this psalm we have, I. The great pressure of spirit that the psalmist was under (Psa_88:3-6). II. The wrath of God, which was the cause of that pressure (Psa_88:7, Psa_88:15-17). III. The wickedness of his friends (Psa_88:8, Psa_88:18). IV. The application he made to God by prayer (Psa_88:1, Psa_88:2, Psa_88:9, Psa_88:13). V. His humble expostulations and pleadings with God (Psa_88:10, Psa_88:12, Psa_88:14). Those who are in trouble of mind may sing this psalm feelingly; those that are not ought to sing it thankfully, blessing God that it is not their case."[/i]
~ Matthew Henry
| 2008/1/31 9:37||Profile|
| Re: A Psalm|
The following passage at times gets worn out, we get so over-familiar with it. May the Lord breathe new life into it for you.
"He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew (ie, exchange) their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint" (Isa. 40.31).
I believe we are in days when God is going to impart new vision to His own. In order to do this, He must, in His great love for us, bring us to the place where we are very uncomfortable with ourselves, and with the measure of our spiritual attainment thus far. It seems so small to us, like a garment we've outgrown. It's only because He has a greater for us!
He loves us, and wants to move us onward. So he brings us to a kind of spiritual weariness, a kind of spiritual "famine," in which our accustomed provision just doesn't do it for us any more, good as it was in the past. Though there seems to be a lot of the "word" around, our inner man is crying out, and famishing for a fresh, living Word from God. We are coming into a new Day. We need new Bread for it: fresh Bread.
And so let us anticipate that Bread.
And let us anticipate fresh vision.
"...Looking unto JESUS..."
"Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until He receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (Jas. 5.7,8).
| 2008/1/31 12:37||Profile|