Morning Musing: Psalm 40:1-3

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and they will trust in the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I haven’t done this for a while, but this morning is going to be a bit of a grab bag. Honestly, that’s because I didn’t know what I was going to write until I got up this morning. That’s sort of true every day because I tend to write each post the same day it goes live, but most days I’m only completing a thought I first started sketching out two to three weeks before writing. Fridays, though, are for taking a break from the rest of the week and reflecting on something different. I spent the time I lay in bed awake last night prayerfully pondering what I would write about this morning. So, we’ll call this morning an answer to prayer. Perhaps it’s an answer for you. Here’s to a bit of a stream of consciousness morning.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 90:12

“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Are you one of those people who count days? As a preacher, I count days by Sundays. I can just about always tell you how many days away the next Sunday is. I can usually tell you the date by adding or subtracting from the date of the next or previous Sunday. If you have kids, I suspect they can tell you how many days are left until their birthday or Christmas or the next break from school. Maybe you have a big project coming up and the deadline makes sure you always know how many days you have left. Two wonderful families I know just added babies to their families. They were counting down the days to the arrival of their bundles of joy. Numbered days are precious days. What Moses is asking God here is for help in treating our whole lives like this. I think there’s something to this. Let’s talk about why.

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Morning Musing: Psalms 56:3-4

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you ever remember feeling invincible? I remember being at one of my sister’s softball games when we were growing up. I wasn’t actually watching the game, but the softball complex she played at was in a wonderfully wooded area with several of the big limestone boulders that are so common to that part of the country, and which make fantastic natural playgrounds. On this particular day, I was jumping from the top of one boulder to the other – in flip-flops, no less – and landing my jumps perfectly every single time. I felt like I could do anything on that day. But while those kinds of experiences are fun, if we’re being honest, they tend to be the exception to the rule. And the rule is that on most days we not only don’t feel invincible, we feel downright defeated. We carry a ton of fear of what the day might bring and who might be bringing it. As normal as that kind of feeling is, though, it’s not how life was designed to be lived. Let’s talk this morning about how to get rid of fear and live with the kind of confidence a ten-year-old boy lost in a fantasy playground has in spades.

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Digging in Deeper: Psalm 32:1-5

“How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit! When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever done anything wrong? I have a sneaking suspicion the answer to that question is yes. How did that make you feel? Be honest now. If you did it right, in the moment it probably felt good. That’s the tricky thing about sin. In the moment it usually feels pretty good. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be so drawn to do it. The thing is, though, that in the moment feeling doesn’t tend to last very long. After a while, it gets replaced by something else: guilt. Guilt doesn’t feel so good. Guilt is a feeling we want to get rid of. David in Psalm 32 here tells us how. Let’s see what he has to say this morning.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 40:1-2

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

How patient of a person would you say you are? I’ll wait. We joke about the fact that patience is a virtue, but in an instant society like ours, waiting is a challenging thing to do. This morning as I was turning off of Main Street and pulling into work, I had to wait just a second for a car to pass going the other direction. In that brief moment, the truck behind me started to go around me on the right (our Main Street is only a two-way road) rather than being delayed by 10-seconds on his way to his destination. Admittedly, I’ve been tempted to do the same thing in other places when I’m in a hurry myself. We don’t like to wait. Unfortunately, life is full of waiting. The world does not operate on our schedule. Neither does God. The season of Advent is also one filled with waiting. As we continue our Advent journey together, let’s talk about it this morning.

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