Tag Archives: Psalm 119

This is Just the Appetizer

How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.

Psalm 119:103

This verse keeps popping up in various places. In my mind, social media posts, again and again. I don’t believe that things like that just happen. I think that God needed me to focus on the sweetness of His words for a reason.

This brought to mind somethings that have left a “bad taste in my mouth” as the old adage says. Words that were spoken in anger, pride, or without regard for the feelings of others. Some by me, some by others; but that is not the case with the word of God. There is not one word that was written without the intent of doing good. Isn’t that an awesome thought? It’s why the Bible is such an encouragement to the child of God and such a missing link to their successful walk if we’re not reading it.

I believe the writer was describing how the word of God brings enjoyment to the senses. In every form, be it written or spoken, sung or quoted, it brings joy the person who has the Spirit of God within their heart. It can also cause alarm like a spicy dish or like the savoryness of a good plate of food it can satisfy the bones. I do not know how that works. But like the writer of Psalm, I know it’s true.

Jeremiah knew it too when he wrote Jeremiah 15:16

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

Not only does the word have the ability to nourish and it can bring refreshing like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day.

Proverbs 25:25

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

Oh my stars how awesome and true! Just as the spring rains replenish the earth and cause our spring flowers to bud forth, so does the word of God. We soak it up, we bloom where we’re planted and all who pass can see the beauty of God in our lives. It’s a miracle that no other book can boast. Another book may entertain, but the word of God nourishes and satisfies. It builds physical strength for the day ahead.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post today. But it was just the appetizer. The meal comes when you read what God has specifically for you!

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

The difference between a good idea and a God idea

I have lots of good ideas. At least in my mind. And for the most part, I believe that they’re ideas that would make a good work for the Lord. Every day since salvation I’ve thought about my ministry and its direction; until the day I went into the hospital and then suddenly it was about that moment in time. Who was I with, who was speaking, was it about my health or was it an opportunity to witness for Christ? That was my mindset.

I missed my youth group, I missed singing, I missed speaking, but those things weren’t on my mind. I didn’t pick up the Word because I couldn’t focus, all I could do was listen to the words that I had “Hidden in my heart.” (Psalm 119:11) But now, I’m back, I’m reading, I’m writing, I’m drawing, I’m singing (from my kitchen table) I’m seeking God’s direction for me now, in this place.

But I recognize even more that there’s a difference between a good idea and a God idea. One “O”.

Psalm 86:1-8

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

David desires God’s will for his life, he knows there is purpose (he is holy, set aside). And in the first 8 verses of his prayer I see his petition to God, “O Lord,” again and again. I can clearly see that the reasoning for my unfocused ministry over the years has been that I’ve not cried “O Lord,” enough. I would ask and halfheartedly wait for God to answer, knowing there might be a chance He wouldn’t necessarily agree with my “good” idea. Zap! That one stung. I know truth when I hear it. I’m driven for service, sometimes too driven.

David prayed

  • O’ Lord Hear me
  • O’ Lord I Trust Thee
  • O’ Lord I cry to Thee
  • O’ Lord I give myself to Thee
  • O’ Lord be with me
  • O’ Lord, let it be Your works

Mine would have been, “O’ Lord! Thanks for that idea!” But not David. He prayed first asking God to please listen. God loves a conversation with His children. A real conversation. Not a repetitious religious act, but a Daddy/Daughter/Son conversation. He want to hear the desires of our heart. He wants to know just how passionate we are about the conversation. Good ideas are not always God ideas. The human mind is fickle and can change at any point. A good conversation with God allows us to work through whether or not it’s passion or just possibility.

David Trusted God. I too often trust me more. Trust is letting go of anything but God for which I learned from the hospital bed. I had to trust that God had put me in the right place with the right people to handle it all. Is life any different? Maybe not as life threatening, but every bit as serious.

When it came to getting to WVU medicine, I discovered that a few life threatening decisions that had been placed in my hand, God had removed. One was changing hospitals mid-stream after I had built a trust with a physician. After my heart cath, the medical staff at the second of three hospitals I was in, decided I had a blood disorder that placed me at considerable risk, and they refused to do the surgery there. It turned out that that hospital had had an outbreak of staff infection and mersa on the heart wing for the past 18 months. Coincidence that I was removed from there? Not in my mind. The blood disease diagnosis was incorrect. Shocker. God removed that decision from me. That’s not how it always works. More often than not, He leaves us to free will. It’s why it’s so very important to cry out to Him more than once.

David pleaded (cried) to the Lord, He laid himself down before the Lord and ask the Lord to be with him through it all, and in finality he asked God to let it be His works, not David’s.

Another zap for me. My good ideas, have too often been, mine. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t God’s. So much work, so much effort put into things that I don’t know if God ever intended me to do because I wouldn’t slow down and use that extra “O” as a cry for wisdom. For the most part I still don’t have any regrets because God knew my heart was to do His work. But He has certainly sidelined me for now and is allowing me to reconsider my direction…

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

When’s the last time you’ve really tasted it?

chick honeyFor forty years the children of Israel ate manna, a small coriander seed textured food that was described as tasting like wafers made of honey, and honey is something I’ve ate a lot of lately. About a week ago I got my annual dose of winter meets spring which inevitably causes my body to go into shock. You’d think it would be happy about those circumstances, but instead it goes into the next season kicking, but no screaming… I lost my voice. And while that made for a lot of funny stories about how peace now reigned in the house, and lead to laughter when I attempted to sing it really did mess with my psyche. I sing most every day. It encourages my soul and sets my heart in a mode of worship. So when I couldn’t sing I began dosing myself with cough drops, tea and honey, and little by little my voice returned; just in time for a recital at Bearfork Bluegrass which occurs in a few hours. I’m a happy camper!  But as I start this day, my mind is on the manna. The “just right” provision of the Lord that somewhat seems routine and unexciting to some.

Exodus 16:15

And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.

Let’s just call it manna.

They didn’t know what it was. So they decided they’d call it manna. In the beginning they were excited… but slowly and surely manna grew tiresome. It’s called life. We all have somewhat of a routine we get into, including serving God if you’re a Christian. It’s unfortunate for most people serving God is from 10 a.m. – noon on Sunday. Possibly two other hours if they can be squeezed in between ballgames, meetings and the laundry. I doubt it was always like that. The day they realized the provision of God they were excited too! But then it grew dull. Why?

Acts 28:27 sums it up for us.

For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

  • Waxed gross – Unpolished
  • Dull of hearing – Selective hearing
  • Eyes closed – Out of sight out of mind.

And each one a craftily designed tool of Satan.

An unpolished Christian is one that doesn’t stay active with the tools God gave us, reading the Word of God, Worshiping, attending services. These are those that polish us and make us shine for all the world to see.

Those dull of hearing have chosen to let the voices of the world chime louder than that of the Holy Spirit and in so doing denied themselves the opportunity to hear the sweet voice of God.

Closing your eyes to the opportunities God affords you for fellowship could eventually get you into permanent darkened state that you don’t want to be in.

Because of my throat issue I fell in love with honey again. I hadn’t eaten any honey for quite some time. But when that sweetness hit my tounge…. Oh…. It was sooooo good. That’s how I feel in the house of the Lord and when I spend time in the Word of God and with His people.

How long has it been since you tasted the provision of God anew? Tomorrow’s Sunday… a new day to a new week, and an opportunity for you to taste again that sweet Spirit of God. I pray tomorrow finds you in a good, Bible believin’ and preachin’ church! If you’re in my neighborhood, I hope to see you at Victory Baptist Church, 2037 South Calhoun Highway, Grantsville, WV. It’s where I found manna in 1996 and it’s been keeping me happy and hole for 20 years!

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But now… News Flash!

chick mosaic

Psalm 119:67 says “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.”

Matthew Henry’s commentary expounded on it like this “Prosperity is the unhappy occasion of much iniquity; it makes people conceited of themselves, indulgent of the flesh, forgetful of God, in love with the world, and deaf to the reproofs of the word.” Matthew Henry is far deeper than Shari Johnson. I skimmed the “But Now” verse for today and thought…. “ahhh, he’s right with God.” I missed the part about being afflicted until I read it again; trying to unpack what it was the Lord would have me to understand.

Before I was afflicted…

You know, when all was right with your world. Before you lost yet another job, before you lost that friend, before you felt bad, before your family was hurting, before you were frustrated, before, before, and before again. Dear gussy! Why must it always be that way? Before we keep God’s word, our world is filled with awesome sauce. It’s only when those distresses, dangers and depression come into our lives that we read God’s word and think, “That’s a good idea.”

News flash! It was a good idea before the before. “But now… it’s an even better idea!” Because now we’ve come to realize that without God in the equation of our life we come up with the same answer. Wrong. It is God that makes everything right, even the wrong stuff. Over the 19 years of my salvation I’ve witnessed first hand

  • God move financial mountains like they were ant hills
  • Heal disease without treatment… and with treatment
  • Answer the prayer for healing with “Not on this side,” and provide the peace beyond!
  • Friendships broken beyond repair… and then mended
  • Drunkards find new wine
  • Dopers find the greatest high in life… salvation
  • Prison in people with freedom, and freedom for people in prison
  • Lives shattered and then pieced back together to become a beautiful mosaic.
  • And so much more!!!

That’s how God works! But not by choice. He’d rather we get it right the first time. He’d have rather there would have been no sin in the garden, but now… there’s Satan. And he’s got to stir it all up and see if anything stinks and stink it does. Until we smell the sweet aroma of God’s presence in the room, when He shows up and we say… I think I’ll keep God’s word. It’s the only thing that has ever stayed trued and beyond a shadow of a doubt has kept me through it all.

It’s kept me:

  • In hope when the world said there was none.
  • In peace with the world was in chaos.
  • Together when I was alone.
  • Filled with joy, without reason.
  • Complete, when so many things in my life were missing.

I am that mosaic. A beautiful piece of art fabricated out of all the brokenness and afflictions, and glued back together with His word. It’s such a privilege to have it.