We recited the answer to this question from the Heidelberg Catechism in church today:
26. Q. What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and all that is in them, and who still upholds and governs them by His eternal counsel and providence, is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father. In Him I trust so completely as to have no doubt that He will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul, and will also turn to my good whatever adversity He sends me in this life of sorrow. He is able to do so as almighty God, and willing also as a faithful Father.
Beautiful, and oh so true.
Thanksgiving from Handbook to Prayer: Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa:
You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
You who are the hope of all the ends of the earth
And of the farthest seas;
You formed the mountains by Your strength,
Having armed Yourself with Power;
And You stilled the roaring of the seas,
The roaring of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples. (Psalm 65:5-7)
Adoration from Handbook to Prayer: Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa:
“To whom will you compare Me?
Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes to the heavens
And see who has created them,
He who brings out the starry host by number
And calls them each by name.
Because of His great might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of
Does not grow tired or weary.
No one can fathom His understanding. (Isaiah 40:25-26, 28)
You, O Lord, remain forever’
Your throne endures from generation to generation.
Adoration from Handbook to Prayer: Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa:
Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or instructed Him as His counselor?
Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten Him,
And who taught Him the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge
Or showed Him the way of understanding?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket
And are regarded as dust on the scales;
He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
Before Him all the nations are as nothing;
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and worthless.
To whom, then, will I compare God?
Or what likeliness will I compare with Him?
(Isaiah 40:13-15, 17-18)
A closing prayer from Handbook to Prayer: Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa:
Come and listen, all you who fear God,
And I will tell you what He has done for my soul.
I cried out to Him with my mouth,
And He was extolled with my tongue.
If I had regarded iniquity in my heart,
The Lord would not have heard.
But God has surely heard;
He has attended to to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer
Nor His love from me! (Psalm 66:16-20)
I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
for they have heard the worlds of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
~If you use social media primarily to complain about social media, you might be doing it wrong.
~ I’m thankful to live in a town where church bells ring out on the hour. A walk from my office to my car can be a mini worship service when “Holy, Holy, Holy” rings out on a clear, sunny day.
~ I love, love, love chocolate, but there’s something especially satisfying about a cold, crisp, sweet-as-candy apple.
~ I’m really into Sharpie fine point pens* these days — so much so that I’m using them to underline and make notes in my books instead of my trusty mechanical pencil. The colors make me happy. 🙂 And they really don’t bleed through paper.
~ Random thoughts & random photos!
~ That’s my mom — my best CAbi customer and cheerleader and a huge support to me (she’s not huge, but her support is!).
~ It’s my daily habit to listen to Dennis Prager podcasts while I get ready for work, and he always makes me think about a wide variety of subjects. This morning I’m listening to him talk with Elaine Bennett about the importance of a father (or at least another good, strong, loving male) in a girl’s life. THANK YOU, LORD, for my father!
Gotta run now to take on this long Friday.
Have a wonderful day!
*Every time you click on one of my Amazon links and make a purchase, a few pennies are tossed my way. They eventually add up and contribute to my book addiction. Thank you for feeding my habit as you shop.
My pastor included the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns in his sermon on Ephesians 6:17 this morning:
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
We were created to sing! Here are some lines our congregation sang that ministered to my soul in worship this morning:
For His perfect love will never change,
And His mercies never cease.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems offs so strong, God is the ruler yet.
Out of my bondage, sorrow and night
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to thee.
Some thoughts on the Sabbath from Eugene H. Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places:
As it turned out in Israel’s practice, Sabbath was never a day of mere not-doing — the context wouldn’t permit it. Human not-doing became a day of God-honoring. God worked in creation, which means that all our work is done in the context of God-word. Sabbath is a deliberate act of interference, an interruption of our work each week, a decree of no-work so that we are able to notice, to attend, to assimilate this comprehensive and majestic work of God, to orient our work in the work of God.
Sabbath is a workshop for the practice of eternity.
Sabbath-keeping preserves and honors time as God’s gift of holy rest: it erects a weekly bastion against the commodification of time, against reducing time to money, reducing time to what we can get out of it, against leaving no time for God or beauty or anything that cannot be used or purchased. It is a defense against the hurry that desecrates time.
We keep Sabbath best when we enter a place of worship, gather with a congregation, and sing and pray and listen to God.
We cannot rightly understand Sabbath apart from work nor rightly understand work apart from Sabbath.
If there is no Sabbath — no regular and commanded not-working, not-talking — we soon become totally absorbed in what we are doing and saying, and God’s work is either forgotten or marginalized. When we work we are most god-like, which means that it is in our work that is easiest to develop god-pretensions. Un-sabbathed, our work becomes the entire context in which we define our lives. We lose God-consciousness, God-awareness, sightings of our resurrection. We lose the capacity to sing “This is my Father’s world” and end up chirping little self-centered ditties about what we are doing and feeling.