Psalm 130 Day 130: Be blessed “With you

Psalm 130
Day 130: Be blessed

“With you there is forgiveness”

God wants you home again. To the place we belong.
A Father had 5 sons. The eldest was obedient, 4 rebellious.
They were told never to go near the river, but each day the 4 brothers would get closer and closer. Till one day one of them stepped in and said ‘hold my hand so I won’t fall in’ – but the currents swirled and pulled them all in.
They were swept away to a strange land, a place they were never born for, a place they could not escape from.
Each evening they built a fire and told stories of their father and the elder brother, the Firstborn.
One night one brother failed to come to the fire. “I’ve grown tired of our talks. I will build a great house and settle here.”
The next night a 2nd brother failed to appear at the fire. He sat on the hill staring at the house his brother was building, “I’ll stay here and keep a record of wrongs our brother is making.”
The next night a 3rd brother failed to appear. He was found stacking rocks in the river. ‘I’ve failed – I will build a way back.’
The last brother returned to the fire.

Then one morning came the voice of the Firstborn “The Father has sent me to bring you home.”
The first brother said, “I’ve made a home here. Go away stranger. I have no Father.”
The 2nd brother said, “It’s great that you are here to see the sins of our brother”.
The 3rd brother said, ‘I cannot stop to talk I must work. I have sinned. I need to work.”
The 4th brother by the fire said “will he forgive me?”
The firstborn replied, “Would he have sent me if he wouldn’t?” and the younger brother climbed on the back of the firstborn and began the journey home.

What best describes you: pleasure seeker; bitter talker; work-driven or are you being carried back to the Father’s house.

“With you there is forgiveness”

Psalm 129 Day 129: Be blessed All of my

Psalm 129
Day 129: Be blessed

All of my life greatly oppressed, walked over, my body scarred forever.
BUT they have not gained the victory over me!

Yesterday, Mr Obama, the first black US president gave his address at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC almost 50 years to the minute after Martin Luther King Jr culminated the march with his celebrated I Have a Dream speech. The time – 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT) – was marked by ringing bells. “They assembled here, in our nation’s capital, under the shadow of the great emancipator, to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress and to awaken America’s long-slumbering conscience.” He went on to applaud the maids, labourers, porters, secretaries who transformed the US into the nation it is today.

Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face
of oppression: “A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man’s self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.” Freedom from Fear
Bono wrote the song ‘Walk On’ based upon her determination to keep going.

What you got, they can’t steal it
No they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight…
Walk on, walk on
What you got they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

Friends whatever it is: Slandered all your life, scarred for life, oppressed, in the hands of the wicked or walking through the valley of the shadow of death …. BUT they have not gained victory over me.
Keep going! Walk on!

Psalm 128 Day 128: Be blessed “…your

Psalm 128
Day 128: Be blessed

“…your children will be like olive shoots around your table.” v3.

Two thousand year-old olive trees are not unknown, and some exist today. They have a way to ensure their own safety as they grow old. They send up new shoots from their outlying roots. These small young trees surround their “parent” tree, serving as buffers from the wind that help to protect the aged tree.

One of the joys of pastoring was to see children look after their parents as they grew older. Hospital appointments, home visits, shopping, and then above all gathering together in their final hours.

Whether we have our own natural children or not, if we have given ourselves to the younger generation then when we grow old they will be there for us, surrounding and supporting us in our time of need.
You may not be a parent physically but you can still be a mother and father. I have just finished reading a tribute to a lady who “was a mother of many”. This could be you.

Blessing is having someone younger than you be there in your hour of need.
So we can perhaps all be a blessing by supporting our own parents and/or those that have mentored us.

Psalm 126 Day 126: Be blessed “One day

Psalm 126
Day 126: Be blessed

“One day we will beat cancer” is the dream of Cancer Research.
But it’s not just a dream. It’s a work ethic. Last year they spent £351 million in the UK on pioneering work in radiotherapy and other advances in cancer drugs.
“I have a dream” was Martin Luther King’s vision and it is still America’s problem. In 1963 black people couldn’t go to the same cinema as white people, this no longer applies thankfully. Yet the work must go on. A march a few days ago in Washington didn’t attract many whites at its 50th anniversary. The blacks are still asking for better healthcare, voter rights, better education. The dream lives on, the marches will continue.
Do you have a dream?
My new role with Elim International Missions has given me a new dream.
It is a dream that involves God bringing back what has been broken, v1.
It is a dream of such proportion, it looks like it couldn’t happen ie streams of water flowing in a desert, v4.
Do you have a similar dream?
I know it’s not enough to dream.
So I will continue to sow with tears.
I will do what I can without being afraid to do it with weeping.
And I trust God will do what He can.
I am banking on laughter, joy, great things and as the Message says at the end of v6 “armloads of blessing.”
Pray for me!

Psalm 125 Day 125: Be blessed! Children

Psalm 125
Day 125: Be blessed!

Children don’t need fairy tales to tell them about dragons. They already know. They need fairy tales to tell them there is someone to fight the dragon. — G.K. Chesterton

On the old maps, back before the world was understood in modern terms, cartographers, map makers, would put down what they knew, but at the edges of the map, beyond which they had no knowledge or understanding, they would often write, “Beyond here, there be dragons.”

Today someone is sailing into uncharted waters where there may well be dragons. They face uncertainty and danger. They need to be reminded of the old but also the important truth: to trust in The Lord.

If you looked back on your life and created a map of it there may be opportunities that were marked “Beyond here there be dragons”. There are ideas and places not explored, people not connected with.
Yet today that all stops. Today is the day of trusting in The Lord. Those who do will never be shaken and will endure for ever.

It is those with this kind of faith who find they trust easier.
It is those who know what it is to be truly blessed.

Psalm124 Day 124: Be blessed Faith is co

Psalm124
Day 124: Be blessed

Faith is confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in his power, so that even when his power does not serve my end, my confidence in him remains because of who he is.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods)

There are seasons we go through that it seems like God’s power is not helping us at all. The power of the enemy can at that time be speaking the loudest. The threat of being swallowed alive, engulfed and swept away was all part of the attack.
Even today you may be waking up facing such difficulties.
I am sure you have asked yourself many times, “How did I get myself into this?”
Place your confidence in who He is! He is The Lord, in charge of everything.
Place your confidence in where He is! Right by your side.

God specialises in the great escapes of life. We escaped at salvation and we will escape again.

My confidence in Him tells me I am blessed!

Psalm 123 Day 123: Be blessed In Decembe

Psalm 123
Day 123: Be blessed

In December 1943, German fighter pilot Franz Stigler was in pursuit of American bomber pilot Charlie Brown’s plane, looking to shoot it down. If he did, it would earn him the Knight’s Cross, the highest honour for a German soldier. But as he approached the plane, Stigler saw that it had no tail guns blinking, no tail-gun compartment remaining, no left stabilizer, and the nose of the aircraft was missing. Surprisingly, he could also see into the plane, the skin of it having been blown off. Inside, he observed terrified young men tending to their wounded. Stigler saluted Brown and veered away. His last words to him were, “Good luck, you’re in God’s hands now.”
Brown was able to land the plane in England. He continued his Air Force career for two decades, but remained obsessed with the incident. In 1990, he took out an ad in a newsletter for fighter pilots, looking for the one “who saved my life on Dec. 20, 1943.” Stigler, living in Vancouver, saw the ad and yelled to his wife: “This is him! This is the one I didn’t shoot down!” He immediately wrote a letter to Brown, and the two then connected in an emotional phone call.
Stigler and Brown both died in 2008, six months apart. The article in the New York Post also noted that both men were Christians and that the obituaries for Stigler and Brown both listed the other friend as “a special brother.”
This is mercy.
Condescending love.
Choosing not to consider the merit of the person who is receiving the love.
People around you today “have been kicked around long enough …kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men … kicked when down by arrogant brutes” v3-4 Message.
But what is in your hand? What is in the hand of the slave master, the mistress, the leader? V2.
Just as we watch and wait for the mercy of God (v2) so there are others looking to you for mercy today.
The blessed do not ignore their situation.

Psalm 122 Day 122: Be blessed! Blessing

Psalm 122
Day 122: Be blessed!

Blessing is found in the inviting and the accepting of being in the presence of God, v1
Blessing is found in the place of worship, v3-4
Blessing is found in right choices, v5
Blessing is found in peace, v6
Blessing is found when you are committed to doing your best, v9 (Message)

Psalm 121 Day 121: Be blessed Yesterday

Psalm 121
Day 121: Be blessed

Yesterday a lovely lady in the church I had pastored died. She was a gift to the church in encouragement, enthusiasm and sheer belief that God can do all things! The church will miss her. I think of her today as I read this Psalm which I have lost count of the many times I have read this in funeral services.
Does my strength come from mountain experiences? Have a look at them, look at those hill-top moments you have had with God:
a. The experience of sacrifice e.g. moments of fasting and giving. God called Abraham to a mountain range to kill his son, Genesis 22:1-2
b. The experience of worship, again the very same scene was an actual act of worship.
c. The experience of phenomena, e.g. the glory on the mountain Moses was called to in Exodus 24:12-18. We have known many manifestations of God’s Spirit.
d. The experience of transformation, e.g. the glory of Christ on the mountain of transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-3. We have known the transformational work of the Spirit in our lives.
e. The experience of prayer and guidance, e.g. the prayer mountain of Jesus in Luke 6:12-13. We have found guidance from the periods of prayer we have spent with God.
f. The experience of divine call and purpose for living, e.g. the mountain of the great commission in Matthew 28:16-20.

All these are mountain-top experiences that strengthen our lives.
Yet even these sometimes are not strong enough in the time of need.

My strength is my faith in Him:
Who did not let her fall, v3
Who watched over her, v5
Who kept her from all harm, v7
Enjoy your Saviour Jean, you are blessed!