Psalm 140

Deliver me, O God, from my own evil

Protect me from my own violence

Keep me from unhealthy preoccupations

Keep me from anger and envy

Keep me from speaking ugliness and hurt

Please and thanks

Guard me O God, from my own wickedness

Protect me from my own violence to my spirit

The violence that traps me

In quicksand discouragement and doubt

Keep me from the trap of arrogance

Guide me away from the snares and nets

Of envy and anger, vengefulness and regret

Please and thanks

You are my God, my Lady Wisdom

So, please, hear me, answer me, deliver me

Stay inside my mind, stay in my thoughts

Do not give place to my ugly enemies

Please and thanks

Let my envy dissolve into gratitude

Let my anger burn away into compassion

Let my doubt be buried beneath faith

Let my words be generous and kind

Let my mind and heart, life and intentions

Be peaceful

I know You help the needy – and I am needy

I know You give justice for the poor

And I am poor in spirit and in faith

Lend me Your righteousness, Your wisdom

That I may give thanks to Your name

And live in Your presence. Amen

 

February 14, 2018

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Cheering for basketball shooting
Crying about school shooting

Bread and circuses
Religion and media

Heavy hearts and light distractions
Outrage and powerlessness

We need not ask for whom the bell tolls
Or for whom the shooter aims

But why are the heavens still above
Why does the center still hold

When we know the rough beast
That has slouched to our schools

Again and again
Guns

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Psalm 131

[My Long-time Favorite]

God of my hope, Savior and Spirit, Lady Wisdom
The times I love are the times when I am not preoccupied
With being smart, successful, happy, esteemed, accomplished
The times when I am not looking around to see how everyone else is doing
My heart does not stray outward
My mind does not chase round and round
Worrying about things I can’t control, things I don’t know
Things I’ll never have, things I’ll never understand
Those times, those times are my savasana times with You
My soul is calm and quiet
My contentment is deep
Deep as a child’s quiet in the arms of a loving mother
You are my loving Mother
O please, let me – let me with that great cloud of witnesses
Hope in You from this time on forevermore. Amen.

Psalm 132

God, remember me, take pity on my struggles
I swore – again and again – I swore to You, my God
To make my life Your dwelling place, Your temple
I swore to remember You day and night
Wherever I find myself
In all circumstances
I swore to keep You at the center of my life
To worship only You
Ah, but to do that, I need You to rise up
Rise up in my mind and heart
I need Your own righteousness
Not my failings
I need Your faithfulness
Not my fickleness
I need You to remember me
Before I can remember You
Please do not abandon me
I know Your promises
I know – or at least I was taught
That I too am part of the priesthood of believers
If I could but keep believing Your promises
If I could but keep obeying Your laws
Then I would deserve a throne with You forevermore
Ah, but that is impossible
Here is my only hope
Jesus once told His disciples
“What is impossible for humans, is possible for God”
So, please, God make me Your resting place
Sooth my troubled spirit so that You can reside with me
Bless me, satisfy me, save me
Cause me to shout with joy
Light my way
Defeat my doubts, my distress
Crown my life with Your peace. Amen

Psalm 133

How good and pleasant my life is
When my spirit is peaceful
When my belief is untroubled
Such times soothe my soul
Like soft oil soothes my skin
Sometimes, I feel that
Life feels easy
Sometimes, I feel that
“The quality of mercy is not strained
But falls as a gentle rain”
Sometimes, I feel that
God has blessed my life forevermore.
Thank God for those times. Amen

Psalm 135

Praise God!
Praise the name of God
Give praise, O my soul, to our God
I am one of God’s household
Not servant, but child
I enjoy God’s favor
Praise God, for God is good to me
I will sing and shout for joy
For God is gracious to me
God has chosen me for Herself
I belong to God
I know that God is great
Greater than all my troubles
Greater than all my worries
Greater than all my doubts
God, mighty Creator
God, Sovereign in all the world, the universe
God of nature, God of humans
God of my world and God of my life
Let me remember what God has done in history
In the history of Her people
And in the history of my life
The times She freed Her people
The times She freed me
The times She defeated the enemies of Her people
The times She defeated my terrible doubts and distress
God’s name, God’s power endures forever
Through all the ages of my life
God helps me, saves me, redeems me
And has compassion on me
Power, riches, renown, even simple comfort
Are idols, the work of human hands
Unable to speak truth
Unable to see my needs
Unable to ear my pleas
Unable to give me life
If I trust such things to bring me happiness
I will find only disappointment
So let me live as one of God’s household
Let me bless God
With that great cloud of witnesses
With Sarah and Miriam, Ruth and Deborah
Let me bless God
Let me honor the God of my heritage
Praise God! Amen