Saturday, September 19, 2009

A String of Selah Pearls (continued)

Positioned gracefully across the Book of Psalms is a string of seventy-one pearls, lovely beads of wisdom followed by the admonition SELAH which means, “Pause, think on these things, meditate.”

Psalm 3:8 “From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Selah.”


Deliverance. Blessing. It’s all from you, Father God,

and yet . . . .

too many of your people don’t acknowledge your blessings.

We whine and tell you how to do your job.

Why is it so hard for us to honor you, God?

Apples must have fallen on Adam’s and Eve’s heads because,

ever since the Garden of Eden episode,

we humans have been confused, really out-to-lunch.

Like the serpent, we want control.

We want to determine the rules of engagement,

decide who gets blessed and who gets cursed

and what those blessings and cursings will be.

Yet, you know our frame. You remember that we are dust

and, mercifully, refrain from blowing us off the face of the earth.

Instead, you extend a simple invitation,

so simple that any dust bunny

should be able to understand . . .

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)


Look up: Deuteronomy 30:19; Psalm 103:14

Friday, September 18, 2009

A String of Selah Pearls (continued)

Positioned gracefully across the Book of Psalms is a string of seventy-one pearls, lovely beads of wisdom followed by the admonition SELAH which means, “Pause, think on these things, meditate.”

Psalm 3:4 “To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah.”


I cry out and you, my Father, answer.

It’s always the same. I cry. You listen.

You are always there for me . . . with gifts.

I ask, and you give wisdom.

I call, and you show me great things I know nothing about.

Why are you so good to me? You know I have no means of paying you back. Why do you care so much?

“Child, I am your Father. You are my daughter.”

Father, this is your daughter calling (collect, as usual)

to tell you how much I love you,

and to thank you for always being there.


Look up: Hebrews 13:5; James 1:5; Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 121:8

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A String of Selah Pearls - Psalm 3:2

Psalm 3:2 “Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ Selah.”


“She’s a fool to trust in God. He’s not going to help her.” So say cynics about those who put their faith in you, God. What do they know anyway? Were they there when you lifted me out of the pit I had dug for myself? Were they there all the while you were mending my cuts and bruises, kissing my hurts, whispering words of encouragement and comfort? Were they there when you offered me the opportunity to be your daughter, when you called me, “My child”?

Were they there when you opened my tightly-closed heart,

poured in the loving blood of Jesus,

and taught me to sing his praises?

I will trust you to help me whatever comes my way.

Still I can't help but wonder . . . .

Who am I

that you are mindful of me

that Christ stretched out his arms

and he died for me?

What have I done to deserve

the grace that you pour out


Is there the chance you will one day discover

that I don’t measure up

that I’m a born loser

and deserve to be left in the midst of my sin

cast into darkness

alone again?

“Never! No, never! O daughter of Mine.

A princess you are . . . redeemed and refined.

The gates of my Heavens are open for you;

My Spirit will guide you safely through.

Come softly now. No more despair.

Let joy abound. I wait you here.”

Look up: Psalm 40:1-3; Psalm 89:1; Psalm 8:4; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 8:38-39

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A String of Selah Pearls

Dear Friends,

Awhile back I spent concentrated time studying the Psalms. Over the next few weeks, I'd like to share with you some of my discoveries. May you be blessed, as I was . . . .


Positioned gracefully across the Book of Psalms is a string of seventy-one pearls, lovely beads of wisdom followed by the admonition SELAH. Most scholars believe SELAH was a musical notation which in Hebrew might mean, "Pause . . . think on these things . . . meditate."

Every verse in the Bible is God-breathed and deserves prayerful consideration. But seventy-one times in the Book of Psalms we are instructed to pay particular attention. Why? It's a string of pearls!

Throughout the ages, pearls have been valued for their purity and perfection and are often worn on "state occasions." However, these seventy-one pearls are not reserved for ceremonial use. Though kept in the King's treasure chest, they are available, each and every day, for our personal blessing and pleasure.

I hope that you will pause, pick them up, study them one by one, and be blessed with personal reflections and responses of your own.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Woman's End

Sometimes I write poems.
Here's one I wrote about a not-so-nice woman in the newspaper.

One Woman's End

She came on like a tropical storm
uprooting households
snatching up a body or two
before her gale winds
dropped to about 30 miles per hour
and past deeds caught up with her.

Now alone, she resembles the wreckage
left behind...
boards strewn here and there
on a windswept frame.
Only a stray dog hangs around
waiting for some morsel...
but her cupboard is long since bare.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Today is Mary's birthday! We've been friends since 8th grade, college roommates, and lifelong buds. Eight years ago we took the trip of a lifetime, backpacking together (just the two of us) in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Flying stand-by, we ended up in first class. Lugging our clothes on our backs, we ended up in posh hotels. (There's too much story to go into--but let me tell you, it was all good.)

God used Mary and that trip to jump-start a new chapter in my life. In my mid-fifties, I'd grown complacent and staid: what adventures could I possibly expect at my age? As it turned out, plenty! And my last eight years have been as full, or fuller, than any other period in my life!

Have you ever felt all-washed-up? Did something happen to turn your life around? Share it with the rest of us so that we can encourage one another to keep on keeping on . . . .

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sailing on Lake Chelan

This morning the regatta took center stage: Lake Chelan hosted dozens of sailboats each with sails unfurled--chasing the wind.

To the untrained eye, the competition was confusing. What were the rules? Who was actually ahead in that jumble of sails and masts? Where was the finish line?

It occurred to me that life is often like that. Each of us lives out our days, aiming toward the finish line, trying this or that technique to get ahead. Some seem to catch a gust of wind early on and spurt forward. Others remain in the middle of the pack, lost in the crowd. Still others lag behind until, suddenly, the wind catches their sails and they advance with reckless abandon.

Like sailing, effective living requires skill and an ability to catch the wind. For the Christian that wind is the uplifting Holy Spirit who comforts Christians and propels us toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippans 3:14).

I may never master the art of sailing a boat, but with the Holy Spirit's help, I'm on the right course and I'm bound for glory . . . .