the underbelly

Well, these have been an interesting two weeks. My first time ever to serve on a grand jury. Jurists are not allowed to divulge any details of the cases heard, so all I will say is that they were eye-openers. I was brought face to face with the reality of sin and its ugly consequences. Yep, the underbelly of society was bared.

But it taught me one very important thing: there, but for the grace of God, go I. I am not better than those whose cases we heard, just because I have not participated in the sinful activities that led them to the place they are in life. I have my own sins to ask forgiveness from God for. There is no way, especially after these last two weeks, that ANYONE will convince me that mankind is basically good. And as I am a part of mankind, that includes me.

This morning I was reading from Psalms 51, 52, and 53. These verses, to me, totally describe the state of man (myself included), and our need of the LORD.

Psalm 51:10–12: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] free spirit. (

Psalm 53:1-6: To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God. There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of His people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

(My computer is finally fixed, thank the LORD, and thanks to my tech-savvy son.)

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you are not your own

My computer is still acting crazy, so it’s going back to Dr. Son’s Computer Clinic today. I wanted to get some of these verses posted during one of its lucid moments, so while it’s thinking clearly and seeing straight, I took the opportunity!

Here are some of the verses I’ve been reading (the ones that really encouraged me are in bold). While I have my computer working, I’ve been reading in the Blue Letter Bible, the New King James Version. This doesn’t replace my own Bible, but it’s a good tool.

These verses cause me to think about the Lord and His right to be in charge of everything – both in this world and in the entire universe. So I was thinking…if you make something with your own hands, does it belong to someone else? Does someone else dictate what you do with that creation? Nope. The LORD created everything, both the heavens and the earth – that makes Him the boss, even over my own body and soul, since I am included in that list of His creations…and so are you. You are not your own, you did not create yourself. Your very life is in His power, so be thankful for what He gives you.

(Psalm 33:5-12) He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

(Psalm 33:20-22) Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You.

(Psalm 34:4-8) I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

(Psalm 34:21-22) Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

(Psalm 40:4-5) Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

(Psalm 41:13) Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.

on your face

So, today the pastor was talking about true worship and what that looks like; he read from Isaiah 6:1-8 and Luke 18:10-14. He said something that caught my attention. It’s not a ritual; it’s not a prepared event for observation by the congregation. It’s CERTAINLY not a Sunday entertainment. “Worship,” he said, comes from two Old English words combined into one: “Worth-ship.” It’s declaring God’s worth. It’s an encounter with God – THAT’S where true worship begins. You simply cannot be in the presence of the Most Holy God and not be affected. And when you realize you are in the presence of the living, holy, righteous, pure God, you see your own sinful state very clearly. You can do nothing but fall on your face in His presence and beg His forgiveness and mercy. Then, when you realize that this holy God has indeed covered your sins and accepted you, you can do nothing but proclaim your gratitude to Him, and tell the world about His mercy and goodness. THAT is worship.

Well, that’s my sermonette for today; see you next week.

My goal for the first month of the year was to post every day. As I had some computer problems (still having them!), I missed a day or so. The rest of the year, my plan is to post once a week, probably on Sunday.

How to act

I’ve been reading in the book of Acts this morning, chapter 4. Peter and John are great examples of how to act in the face of opposition. They’ve just healed a lame man. And the Sadducees are angry – who gave them the right to perform such a miracle!! Imagine that, being angry because of a good deed.

Well, actually, it wasn’t the deed so much as the authority behind that deed that riled them up. Peter and John did not cower in the face of opposition, but boldly proclaimed that it was Jesus Christ – whom they had crucified and God had raised from the dead – who gave them power and authority to do good works in His name, and that it was the NAME of Jesus that brought healing to this lame man.

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, so they were sad, you see. (That’s not original. I heard a pastor say that about 28 years ago)

Anyway, that’s my thought for the day.

A blessed nation

Psalm 33:10-14: The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looketh from from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of His habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.

This was part of my morning reading. As this nation turns farther and farther away from the Lord, I fear for its safety. We are pushing away from our secure place in the LORD. As long as we trust in Him, He will protect us. But as we have been bent on removing any acknowledgement of God from our lives, why should we expect to be blessed by Him? I see believers as that nation protected by the LORD, regardless of what earthly nation they are from. I want to belong to the nation of believers, no matter what happens in the U.S. and the world in general. Where do you have your citizenship??