In the Light of Your Deeds

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How good it is to give thanks to the Eternal
and to praise Your name with song, O Most High;

To speak of Your unfailing love in the morning
and rehearse Your faithfulness as night begins to fall.

How good it is to praise to the sound of strings—lute and harp—
the stirring melodies of the lyre.

Because You, O Eternal One, thrill me with the things You have done,
I will sing with joy in light of Your deeds.

(Psalm 92:1-4)

Days of Preparation

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The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the Lord.

(Proverbs 21:31 NLT)

This morning Facebook reminded me of an old post I wrote when my granddaughter was about three years old. I enjoyed her ability to give directions around her city when I was babysitting for a few days.

“Go past the tower (tall building) and wait for the green light. Then turn and go past Costco and there it is – Walmart!”

This amused me, so when we needed groceries after her swimming lessons I asked for directions to Superstore.

“Nana, have you been to Superstore before?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Then look into your memory and you can find the way there all by yourself.”

Today I face another battle where the odds are seemingly against me. I’m doing much better at avoiding panic this time, but I needed this prompt to remind me to look into my memory and acknowledge the times when we did all we could – and it was not enough. But God took what ever preparations we made and did something greater than we ever could have imagined.

Resting in the Lord is not about passively flopping on the ground and awaiting rescue. We pick up our five smooth stones, gather as many empty vessels as we can, prepare a sacrifice on an altar, stand before Pharaoh’s armies with nothing but a stick, march around a city seven times, pick up our beds, walk all the way to Damascus to pray for a guy who wants to kill us. We make preparations, we prepare the horse for the day of battle (again), but we know that the victory belongs to the Lord.

That’s resting in the Lord too.

 

Nevertheless

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I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

I don’t quote from the King James version very often, although it is the translation I grew up with. I find I end up having to explain it to people not familiar with archaic English anyway, so I might as well use a later version provided by scholars who have dedicated themselves to the task. But there is a dramatic poetry in the old language I sometimes miss.

Nevertheless

Nevertheless I live.

Words that rock the world no matter the century or the dialect.

Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

How deeply profound.

Tune My Heart

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For there’s nothing we can do to oppose the truth; all we can do is align ourselves with it. (2 Corinthians 13:8)

Lately I’ve run into a number of articles on sympathetic vibration in music. The other word that keeps grabbing my attention is alignment.

Sympathetic vibration can be demonstrated when a pitch fork is held near a string tuned to the same pitch. Without being touched the strings seem to come alive and respond with vibrations that play the same note.

I’ve heard it said that true worship begins in heaven and the heart that is still will pick it up. One of my favourite passages of scripture is found in the second chapter of Hosea. The Lord uses the metaphor of alluring his formerly wayward love to a desert place where there is no voice but His. He says that in that place, she will respond to Him. The New American Standard version uses the word sing.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
“Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor [trouble] as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth…”

I’m beginning to see this as sympathetic vibration. When she hears The Voice singing the same pitch which she was designed to sing, the beloved comes alive. Her heart vibrates in sync with the sound that is at the heart of creation. Her heart resonates with Truth.

When we are in tune with the Father’s heart we are in alignment with His truth. When we are all in tune with Him we are also all in tune with each other.

A.W. Tozer wrote: “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”

Instruments in a symphony do not all sound the same. A violin is not a bassoon. Seldom does the composer ask an orchestra to play in unison. He asks them to play in harmony, but all the notes are based on one pure pitch and all play the same song. Worship begins in the Father’s heart. It is a gift He gives us so that we have something to give back to Him.

At the moment the divine orchestra – the Church – most often sounds a bit like everyone is concentrating on individual warm-up exercises and are all practising their own songs at the same time. Some have recently come in from the cold and their instruments are not yet in tune, but I have hope for the day when all look to the Conductor, tune to His perfect pitch, and unite to play the greatest song ever.

Soon.

Their sound will go out into all lands, even to the ends of the earth, when all creation joins to sing God’s praise.

In the meantime this is my prayer: Come play the strings of my heart, Lord. Tune my heart to sing Your praise.

Edited to add:

 

We Don’t Hass to be Afraid

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Don’t be afraid, I am with you;
don’t give way, for I am your God.
I strengthen you and I help you;
I uphold you with the right hand
of my justice. (Isaiah 41:10)

Don’t be afraid,
for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by your name,
you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

When he was only two years old and his daddy appeared to be dying in the hospital our little grandson looked into his Mommy’s eyes and said, “We don’t hass to be afraid. We don’t hass to be afraid, Momma, ’cause Jesus is wiss us!”

Sometimes when I look at all the things in my character that need fixing I feel overwhelmed. The word I feel the Lord has given me for this year is “instill.”  I want the concepts I have learned about the goodness of God and how much he loves me to be instilled in my heart so my first reaction is trust. I get there eventually but my “knee-jerk reactions” need revision before I open my mouth. When I wonder how long it will take I remember the reaction of a child barely old enough to talk.

Sometimes this journey is not as much about overcoming obstacles as returning to the faith of a child. Restoration is recovering the pure undivided heart of a little one who knows what it is to trust.

Yesterday my grandson’s Daddy taught him how to skate. He learned to balance and glide and turn on the ice rink Daddy built for his children in the backyard. There was much joy!