66 in 52 Challenge

Reflections on Psalms (Part 2)

“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
For each day He carries us in His arms.” (Psalm 68:19)

As we go through life each day there are plenty of things that I don’t understand, don’t like, am confused by or wish are different. Each day I hear of, and at times am unfortunately a part of, injustices, inequity, and marginalizing “outsiders”. Each day I hear of the pain and hurt my students and their families are facing and if I’m not intentional, each day can just be too much.

But this is also true:  Each day, we are not alone.

Each day, He helps us see our faults and choose a new way.

Each day, He guides and protects, leads and loves.

Each day, we have reason to praise, no matter what is going on around and in us.

Each day, He is Lord.

Each day, He is Savior.

Each day, His on His throne and nothing can change that.

Each day He carries us in His arms.Thanks be to God!

66 in 52 Challenge

Psalms (Part 1) – Week 17 {66 in 52 Challenge}

This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I am focusing in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will post a summary page with some thoughts about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey! Click here to see where we’ve been so far!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Week 17 - Psalms 1-50

The Big Picture of Psalms:

The word “psalm” is used to describe a poem or song typically one connected with some kind of religion. Right in the middle of our Bibles we find a book filled with these psalms. What’s neat is that many of the psalms can be traced back to various points in the history of God’s people. Some psalms are filled with gratitude and thanksgiving while others lament the hard times in life. There are psalms that seem to have been used in royal ceremonies with some of the Kings and others written hidden in caves.  One of my favorite things about the Psalms is that it seems to document the everyday life of believers which makes them very relatable to our lives today.

Fun Facts about the Psalms:

  • There are 150 psalms in the book.
  • Psalm 119 is the longest psalm with 176 verses.
  • Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm with only 2 verse.
  • Psalm 118 is in the very middle of the Bible.
  • Psalms is actually divided into 5 smaller books within the book with each section ending with a song of praise called a “doxology”.
    • Book 1: Psalm 1—41
    • Book 2: Psalm 42—72
    • Book 3: Psalm 73—89
    • Book 4: Psalm 90—106
    • Book 5: Psalm 107—150
  • Today, the psalms are used in both Christian and Jewish worship.
  • King David wrote 73 of the 150 psalms

A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:

Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. Since Psalms is so long we’re dividing it up over three weeks. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.

  • I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)
    REFLECTION: What can you give thanks to God for this week? Who will you tell of God’s wonderful deeds in your life?
     
  • The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? ” (Psalm 27:1)
    REFLECTION: Who or what in your life is trying to make you fearful right now? What does it look like to trust and depend on the Lord in the middle of that fear?

  • The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
    REFLECTION: Who do you know that needs to be reminded that God is near? How can you remind them of the truths in this verse?

  • Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. (Psalm 38:15)
    REFLECTION: What are you waiting on an answer from God for? How can you wait well this week?

God’s Grace in the Psalms:

I think we can find just about any human emotion somewhere in the Psalms. I kind of mentioned this in the summary piece above, and I mention it again because I think that it is where I most see God’s grace currently in the Psalms. Reading through them, especially a lot of them at one time like we’ll be doing the next few weeks, reminds me that God is big enough for whatever I’m thinking and feeling. He can handle my anger, even if it’s aimed toward Him. He can walk with me in my doubt and bring me back to a place of trust. He understands our fears and reassures us in those anxious moments. Not only is God bigger than all our emotions, He also was the one who created us with those emotions. Of course, we can let those feelings lead us into actions that go against His desires, but the emotions themselves are a gift of grace, one that often, if we let it, leads us straight into deeper relationship with Him.

Some Other Resources:

The Challenge:

So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!

First Trinity, Music, Prayer

God’s Word is AMAZING! – Week 2 Memory Verse Song

God’s Word is truly AMAZING!  As I shared in the children’s sermon this morning, there are many things that amaze me about God’s Word, but the thing that amazes me the most is its power to change our lives.  I loved Pastor’s sermon today that outlined just 7 of the MANY ways God’s Word changes us.

Our memory verse for this week is a simple but POWERFUL prayer in which we ask God to show us those wonderful things in His Word.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. (Psalm 119:18)

To help us memorize this verse, I bring you week 2’s memory verse song.  In addition to a normal recording below, you’ll find a recording of First Trinity’s choir leading the congregation in singing this beautiful verse in today’s traditional worship service.  I pray these songs help us all hide God’s Word in our hearts.

You can find and/or downloard all the songs throughout the series here.