Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Psalms’

Falling

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

What does it mean to rest in the shadow of the Almighty?  As I pondered over this verse this morning, chewed on it while taking my morning walk and drinking in the beauty of the early day, I also wrestled with the concept.  Does this mean that if I don’t dwell in the shelter of God – I won’t find rest?  Yes…and no.  Mostly yes.
Real rest comes from feeling safe.  Knowing that no matter what you do, good or bad – or what others have done to you – you can always comes back and rest under his great arms of love.  Just fall in.  Feel completely loved.  No matter what.
I believe if it’s safety you’re looking for – you’ve come to the right place.  This song is one I can’t shake since the first time I heard it – I pray it will be a blessing to you today.
God Bless
My canyon of transgressions,
It echoes through my troubled mind
Reminding me of desperation,
And of the peace I long to find

I wrestle with this world around me,
I forge the chains that hold me down
But it was your love, a dead world’s pardon
You gave it all, you gave for me

I’m falling into your love overwhelming,
I’m falling into your grace
I’m falling in where my heart knows no wrong
I’m falling into you

To you my life I will surrender,
Surrender heart, mind, flesh and soul
Reveal to me, reveal your calling,
It is your will I long to know

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Are You Vulnerable?

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Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Our pastor spoke on the seventh commandment this last Sunday.  And then we discussed it last night in our small group.

This is a difficult subject to address – especially in a society where the rate of divorce is about 50% – which means 1 out of every 2 marriages will fail – if left untreated.

We seem to be a society that doesn’t care to address the issue of adultery – especially in the church.  We know that people fail – even high-profile ministers and staff members.  They were not guarding their heart – or protecting their “blind spot”.  But why it happens in the first place – is quickly swept under the rug.  We seem quick to want to usher them into counseling and not want an embarrassment for the church in any way. The church seems ill-equipped to handle the growing problem of adultery and just why it happens so much.   The epidemic seems to be no respecter of persons. Women fall into this almost as much as men do – and for very different reasons.

It is so simple to quote scriptures and to think we have guarded our hearts – before we’re married – or even when we are married – but  this “secret sin” is a heart problem and not a quick fix.  And it has been a problem since the beginning of time when sin entered the world.

We have many friends in our circle who have either found themselves a victim of a spouse having an affair and leaving – or committed this themselves and are now in another relationship and marriage.  It is easy to pass judgment and even try to “play God” with them – thinking that because nothing has happened like that to us – we are somehow superior.  I grow up thinking that someone falling into a moral temptation or failure was somehow very weak spiritually – wasn’t reading their Bible or praying everyday.  Now I know that although these spiritual disciplines are good for us – it does not guarantee our safety.  And I don’t think being weak spiritually is the problem – nor do I think it is the work of Satan – although he certainly is in the business of destroying lives.

I believe it is a heart issue.  The Bible says that our heart is “deceitfully wicked”  in other words – we are self-centered to the core and want our own way!  We wrestle with our own selfish motives in about every aspect of our lives.  The flesh DOES NOT like to be told “NO”!  It takes that renewing of the mind that David talks about in the Psalms in order for us to resist temptation – and even then, temptation is very strong.

We also have to realize that some have been a recipient of a failed marriage – or a moral failure of some kind.   And sometimes even though someone has failed in a marriage – is truly remorseful and wanting to begin again – the spouse will not reconcile. We have a way of holding these victims of un-forgiveness as “prisoners” – thinking that somehow we need to make them pay!  Like it’s our job or something.  Lord help us!  Let’s be compassionate – none of us is above temptation.  We might be one that fails in some way – let’s treat others with love and mercy – we may need it someday!

I believe we need better education in marriages – and an understanding of what things are likely to happen – if we are not guarded.

It is easy to take your spouse for granted.  We’ve all heard the cliché’s “He doesn’t see me anymore” or “She doesn’t appreciate me” – and soon a very magical thing happens – someone else does. It is easy to let this happen.  Usually it is not a IN YOUR FACE kind of moment with someone else.  No.  It’s very subtle and starts out very innocently.  It’s usually a trusted friend – or someone you work with and spend a lot of time with.  It’s usually a heart connection – you find that this person makes you feel good about yourself again.  This person makes you laugh and makes you feel young.  There is usually a moment when something changes in the relationship – you sense something is different and you find yourself being drawn to them and wanting to spend more time with them – even getting defensive and protective about them – and you find you’ve crossed the line into the emotions and the heart.  You care about them.  Really care.

At this point you have a choice.  You can continue – or you can turn away.  Hard as that may be.  Now here’s the dicey part of the equation:  Sometimes there isn’t a firm foundation in your already struggling marriage relationship – and there is nothing to go back to. That isn’t always the case – but for the majority of cases – I think it is.  Most people don’t stray from their marriage unless something is seriously lacking in their own. This is not an excuse – simply reality.

So adultery happens because it is a choice – and seems like the better alternative in comparison to what is not waiting for them at home.  Those that have found themselves in the throes of this emotional decision usually weigh the good and the bad – and in the end – knowing it will cause all sorts of personal and emotional problems – they do it anyway. You pass the point of no return.

I’m not making excuses for them – and after some soul-searching  when the bottom drops out for these people – neither are they. They know very well what they have done.  It is against the natural order that God has set up – as protection for our heart and lives.  And they know that.  Ask anyone who has failed in this area – even emotionally and they will tell you it is a horrible pain that you never recover from – the guilt, remorse, pain of losing friends and family – even children because of their decision is a terrible thing and worse punishment than any man could inflict on them.

God does forgive – that’s the good news.  No one is safe from sin.  We are all capable of making really bad choices in life – and then having to live with them – even after God has forgiven us. Look at the life of King David.  He was a “man after God’s own heart” and yet he was an adulterer, a liar and a murderer.   He repented and God forgave him – but there were still consequences to his actions – and they followed him the rest of his life.

How can we help those who have failed in this area?  Don’t shun them and treat them like they are criminals.  If they have repented before God – then who are we to judge them?  Love them and welcome them back with open arms – being kind and gracious just like Jesus is toward you when you blow it.

How can we guard our marriage?  I believe it starts with our own heart.  I believe it takes a big person to take full responsibility for his or her own actions – and not blame others for mistakes.  If you are a compassionate person who likes to reach out and help others – be wise as you listen and also as you share yourself.  Know where your weak areas are.  Do you like to help hurting people?  Does it make you feel good when they seem to respond positively to your encouragement and attention?  Are you drawn to people who are flatterers?  Do you like to be around people who make you feel good about yourself?  Especially the opposite sex?  Do you like to live close to the edge?  Careful – many a person has been burned by casually flirting with someone and opening up an area of their heart.

Be accountable to other people who you trust in your life. We have a small group that meets every week in our home – and we have pledged to be accountable to these people.  It was in my closing prayer last night that we would know for sure – that when we find ourselves in trouble – that these people will have our back and be a support and help to us during a time of temptation.

We also need to cultivate an emotional connection with our spouse.  So many times the man will think if his physical needs are being met – he doesn’t have to connect with his wife.  Wrong.  Women connect with their emotions and their hearts. They need someone who values them and meets those needs before she can bond and connect with him physically.  And as I learned in our small group last night – both men and women are capable of “withholding” as a means of control.

Women need to be smart when it comes to your husband.  If you do not give him that attention he needs – both emotionally and physically – he will be vulnerable and open to flattery and connection with someone else. And Men – you need to be smart too – if she isn’t connecting with you – someone else will be glad to step in and connect with her.  Don’t let that happen. Romance her and take care of her emotional needs.  Don’t be naive – things don’t just happen. A good marriage is no exception.  A marriage will go through many different seasons – if you are not willing to change and adapt – it is just not simply enough to say – “We made a promise many years ago”.  That promise can be broken by as simple a thing as neglect.  I’ve seen it happen many, many, MANY times over the years.

Find a way to connect with your spouse today – cultivate romance, caring, understanding and friendship in your relationship.  Put all your energies into making your marriage better – and if you have failed in this area and find yourself in a new relationship due to circumstances either out of your control – or because of your own choices – guard your already fragile  heart. Cultivate boundaries and protection around your heart – and begin again with your spouse in forgiveness.

God Bless

A Modern Psalm… (via Cindy Holman’s Blog)

Written last year at this time – this Psalm is still applicable for me today. Enjoy!

I am here – waiting.

Lord I know you hear me.

Many times I cry out to you

I’ve seen your provision

I’ve seen You

I’ve seen people come and go in my life

Things you’ve allowed to touch me

Joy and happiness

Painful things that brought me to my knees

You’ve been there

You’re always there

How long Oh Lord?

How long is my mind confused?

And lost in this madness?

Come and surround me with your presence

So I can feel you

Breathe you in

And know That you a … Read More

via Cindy Holman’s Blog

King David – the First Blogger… (via Cindy Holman’s Blog)

I wrote this article last July 3rd and thought I would re-post it for all of you ‘writers’ and ‘bloggers’ out there like me. In this last year I have found the same freedom and healing through writing – and it has caused me to pause and listen with keener perception to others on that same journey of ‘self discovery’. Something happens to us as we are real and authentic with our hearts – expressing what is within – that which is sometimes hard to find an audible voice for – the written word.

I want to challenge you today: Write those things that you cannot verbalize – those things which you are hidden deep within. Learn to be like David – finding expression in writing – and letting God speak to you while doing so. You will find a sweet release and many who share your passion. And if you need to write a letter – even if you never intend to send it – do it. It may be just for you alone. Learn to keep a journal – record what happens in your life – and be able to return to it and see how far you’ve come on your own personal journey. It will encourage you and surprise you too. You will find out – that you were never really alone – in the times that you felt no one understood. And you will discover friends along the way that are God’s ‘gift’ to you.

God Bless-

If you love to journal like me – writing becomes your best friend – blogging just another way of expressing ones self.  I have found over the many years of doing this – that it is also very healing.  Like an artist who sees something they HAVE to paint – and the athlete who MUST compete – so is the writer who HAS to express in the written word. Any time I hear about someone who is going through a struggle – or painful experience, I always advise … Read More

via Cindy Holman’s Blog

The Stingy Psalm

Lord

I will Bless Your Name

Because you are worthy of the praise

Not because I feel like it

Not even because I am worthy to praise you

No

I will do it because You are far above me

You see things differently than me

I am limited

You are not

I see today – and the past behind me

You see all of it at once

the past – the present – the future

And you are unmoved

Unchanged by time

I feel

I cry

I react

I digress

I stumble

I fail

I need

I need

I need

 

But you are unchanged

You are

You are still the same

You require all of me

all the time

 

And so I pick myself up

I resist

I am compelled

I am convicted

I offer up

a sacrifice of praise

even when I don’t feel like it

even when things are not well in my world

especially then

because you are Holy

You are deserving

always

No matter what

You are

and I will praise You

 

Help me Lord to praise You – even when I don’t feel like it – because it is the right thing to do – help me to say – “whatever it takes” – knowing this is a scary prayer to pray.  Help me to always live in constant praise, knowing that true joy and peace come by offering that sacrifice of praise.  Help me let go of myself – and just see You.  Help me to trust you with my whole life – every aspect – every feeling and emotion – every action – every motive.  For in letting go – that is where I truly find You waiting for me….

Where is the water??

“Oh God you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”   Psalm 63:1

What a word picture.  I love those – even though my learning style seems to be more audio than visual – still – there is NOTHING like the Psalms to quiet our spirit and make us STOP and think – ponder and reflect – to dig DEEP within ourselves – stir our hearts in surprising ways and touch us in a way that feels like we’re home.

Do you ever feel like you’re dry?  You wonder where you’ll ever get water to make the dryness disappear?  Do you feel like you’re in that dessert experience where nothing makes sense?  I think we all have.  David wrote many “blogs” or “Psalms” to express just how he felt – and his desire to know God – even when he didn’t understand his purpose on this earth – or his circumstances.  Sometimes things are NOT revealed to us.  Or if they are – it is sometimes many months or sometimes years later that we really understand the reason for them.

I do know this:  There is a higher purpose for our wandering around and not knowing.  It is through those times that great things are produced in our character and integrity – if we will allow it.  I know that God has me in the palm of His hand – He has a plan for my life.  I am absolutely convinced of this.  I know I mess up – get off track – have to come back – repent and get into right relationship with Him again – but it does NOT diminish His purpose in and through my life.  He takes me through these hard, and yes…dry times in my life to show me something new about myself – and mostly to help me understand and to serve others.

Will you allow Him to show you His purpose today?  Can you sit back and relax and not try to “figure it out” all the time?  Can you see the character building happening  as you adjust and learn to cope with stress, pressure, disappointed and failure in your own life?  I trust that you will.  I trust that you will begin to see these circumstances in your life – in a new and fresh way.  That in your search for water – and for answers – you will come to the true source of living water today.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Don’t let your foot slip…

“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”             Psalm 94:18-19

I love the Psalms.  They speak about real things, emotions and feelings – the absolute despair – and exuberant JOY!!!   Heartbreak – and fulfillment – fear and love.  They are a wonderful expression of how the human heart feels.

I have often heard our “modern” or “contemporary” worship songs of the church criticized over the years – for being too “self absorbed”.  Everything is about “me” and how I feel. And while I agree that too much of this is not balanced – there is something to be said for the self expression in song, prayer and worship.  Take the Psalms.  They are a journey of David’s love affair with his God.  They are personal and profound – and speak to us even today.  We have set many of them to music and lovingly sing them as our hearts cry out from the deepest part.  David was an ordinary man who loved God with all his heart and was not perfect.  He messed up many times – moral failure, murder, deceit – were only a few of his “mistakes”.  And yet – God referred to David as a “man after His own heart“.  We would all love that to be said of us, wouldn’t we?  You mean we can mess up that bad and still have God think of us – as men and women after His own heart?  Yes.   Most definitely.   Read 1st and 2nd Samuel  and the Psalms – to get a glimpse of this ordinary man’s journey with God – who did extra ordinary things with God by his side.  Among those extra ordinary things – he was a lowly shepherd who became the King of Israel.  He committed adultery with a woman named Bathsheba – and yet – God still honored David and made the son from this union the next King.  His name was Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived.

If you think the Lord does not forgive – think again, my friend.  Repent and God will bless you and give you a testimony for all to hear – and you will be able to say how great our God is.  He is still working miracles in lives today.  Don’t ever forget it.

When your foot is “slipping” – cry out to Him and He will catch you – and He will bring Joy to your Soul.  It’s a promise.

I am praying for you,

God Bless

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