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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 50)

Psalm 50

A psalm of Asaph.Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 6.46.05 AM

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
    God shines forth.
Our God comes
    and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
    and around him a tempest rages.
He summons the heavens above,
    and the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me this consecrated people,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    for he is a God of justice.[a][b]

“Listen, my people, and I will speak;
    I will testify against you, Israel:
    I am God, your God.
I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
    or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
I have no need of a bull from your stall
    or of goats from your pens,Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 6.50.16 AM
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
    and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
    and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
    for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
    or drink the blood of goats?

14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
    fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

16 But to the wicked person, God says:

“What right have you to recite my laws
    or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
    and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
    you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
    and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and testify against your brother
    and slander your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things and I kept silent,
    you thought I was exactly[c] like you.
But I now arraign you
    and set my accusations before you.

22 “Consider this, you who forget God,
    or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:
23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,
    and to the blameless[d] I will show my salvation.”

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (hurry sickness)

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 5.50.14 PM

“Hurry sickness” is a real condition that afflicts all of us. The book Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick examines our obsession with time.  Amazon’s blurb about this book says: “Most of us suffer some degree of ‘hurry sickness.’ a malady that has launched us into the ‘epoch of the nanosecond,’ a need-everything-yesterday sphere dominated by cell phones, computers, faxes, and remote controls. Yet for all the hours, minutes, and even seconds being saved, we’re still filling our days to the point that we have no time for such basic human activities as eating, sex, and relating to our families.”

The late comedian Lilly Tomlin said, “For fast relief, try slowing down.”Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 4.12.38 PM

Where is “hurry sickness” impacting your life?  What expectations do you put on others to rush around?  What steps help you to slow down?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2015 in hurry sickness

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 49)

Psalm 49
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah.Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 6.02.47 AM A psalm.

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:

5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me—
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
7 No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—
9 so that they should live on forever
and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,

Residing in Paradise!

Residing in Paradise!

that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses[b] forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had[c] named lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (choices)

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 6.17.00 PM

Calvin’s dad certainly has a point, doesn’t he? In his book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz studies the many choices we have in America and says, “”Autonomy and Freedom of Choice are critical to our well being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.”Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 7.03.22 AM

What do you think?  Are more choices always good?  Should we who follow Christ be surprised that a choice-flooded culture resents our claiming Jesus as the only Savior?  {by the way, I prefer Extra Chunky Peanut Butter!}

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2015 in choices

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 48)

Psalm 48
A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah.Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 6.32.46 AM

1 Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise,
in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

2 Beautiful in its loftiness,
the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon[b] is Mount Zion,
the city of the Great King.
3 God is in her citadels;
he has shown himself to be her fortress.

4 When the kings joined forces,
when they advanced together,
5 they saw her and were astounded;
they fled in terror.
6 Trembling seized them there,
pain like that of a woman in labor.
7 You destroyed them like ships of TarshishScreen Shot 2015-02-04 at 6.35.14 AM
shattered by an east wind.

8 As we have heard,
so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
forever.[c]

9 Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
to the next generation.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 47)

Psalm 47[a]
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 10.11.31 AMKorah. A psalm.

1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.

2 For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
4 He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.[b]

5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 10.14.06 AM

8 God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings[c] of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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A Theology of Sexuality (a sermon)

Friends:

I recently preached the following sermon at Columbia International University.  My focus is primarily on how we can reach out to our homosexual friends.  I am open to your comments.


Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 6.39.57 AM

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 11, 2015 in sexuality

 

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