A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises. I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure. Psalm 100:1-5
We say it. Sing about it. And seek after it. Believing that leaning into God and following Him will provide us the peace, direction and hope we need. Then the world hits again. Right where we are.
And our shoulders droop. We moan. Our heart hurts. We can’t move forward. Our pity party begins. And the twinkle in our eye fades and the smile on our face falls or is forced. We pray, we cry and wonder why. And we don’t know where to go, what to do or how to move on.
Let me suggest something I learned from a fellow follower of our Lord. At a very difficult time in many areas in her life, and the life of her husband, young family and their ministry, Australian worship leader, Darlene Zschech, sat down and picked up her Bible.
She turned to the book of Psalms where the writers’ feelings often reflected their own frustrations and fears as their world spun out of control, wondering in frustration to God where He was while all these things were happening in their lives. In particular, she turned to Psalm 100, and within twenty minutes of reading it, the anthem, “Shout to the Lord,” rose up through her out of God’s Word.
Here are a few of the words she wrote out of that moment— “My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like You, all of my days I want to praise the wonders of Your mighty love. My comfort, my shelter, Tower of refuge and strength. Let every breath, all that I am never cease to worship You. Shout to the Lord all the Earth let us sing power and majesty, praise to the King. Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of Your name. I sing for joy at the work of Your hands. Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand. Nothing compares to the promise I have in You…”
Think about that for a moment—Nothing compares to the promise I have in You. In our better moments we know that’s true. We know and have seen that the world’s promises are fleeting, unfulfilling, tied to the expectations of others, and empty. But the promises we have in our Lord are now and forever.
The tomb is empty—Christ is alive and has made a way for us to claim the never-ending wonders of His mighty love, comfort, shelter, refuge and strength both here and eternally, when we accept Him and ask Him into our lives.
So, we can “Shout to the Lord” with every last breath, knowing that no matter what happens, or what we face—Nothing compares to the promise we have in our eternal relationship with our Lord.
Thank you, Lord. Nothing compares to you.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.
But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.
A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.
We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.
How do you serve others?
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A substitute teacher in Georgia was fired from her job after she expressed her concern as a parent over the content of a book in the school library. The book depicts same-sex couples taking their children to school and two lesbian mothers, one of whom is pregnant. The mother spoke with her six-year-old son’s teacher and asked that he not be part of the story time where the book was to be read. The teacher said that would not be a problem.
The next day, she expressed her concerns over the book with the school’s principal, explaining that she and her husband would like to be the ones to talk with their children about issues such as same-sex marriage, rather than the school. She made clear that she was not asking for the book to be removed, only that her children not be exposed to its content. The principal agreed.
Soon thereafter, the teacher learned that she would no longer be allowed to teach in the school district, as the principal was concerned about her bias “against same-sex couples.” Even though she explained that she expressed her concerns as a mother, not as an employee of the school district, her employment was terminated.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
If people are trying to bring you down, it only means you are above them.
Why don’t the 99% of us who aren’t offended by everything quit catering to the 1% who are?
A wise man once said, “Be careful who you let on your ship, because some people will sink the whole ship just because they can’t be the captain.
Parents don’t give up on their kids for taking the wrong roads. They just keep praying there’s a place to turn around before it’s too late.
I know how my life will end as one of my kids will unplug my life support to charge their phone.
The greatest one can pass onto one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated during one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.
Everyone has the power to make someone else happy. Some do it by entering the room, while some do it by leaving.
Truth doesn’t mind being questioned while a lie does not like being challenged.
I am only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand. John Wayne
Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error. Marcus Tullius Cicero
Keep calm and be crazy, laugh, love and live it up because this is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you will ever be again.
Silence is the best way to reply to a fool.
As long as you feel pain, you are still alive. As long as you make mistakes, you are still human. And, as long as you keep trying, there is still hope.
Some people are just like trees. They take forever to grow up.
It is better to have your nose in a book than in someone’s else’s business.