Psalm 31

We see David again putting his trust in the Lord in the midst of his enemies when they desire to utterly destroy him. Some of the statements David made about the Lord stood out to me as I was reading, and I would like to share them with you:

  • I have come to you for protection
  • Save me
  • Be my rock of protection
  • Lead me out of this danger
  • I entrust my spirit into your hand
  • You are a faithful God
  • I trust in the Lord
  • You care about the anguish of my soul
  • You have set me in a safe place
  • My future is in your hands
  • Let your favor shine on your servant
  • I call out to you for help
  • How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you

Some of these statements are cries or pleas for help and others are statements of confidence in the faithfulness of the Lord no matter the circumstances. David was surrounded by enemies that wanted to destroy him. The second half of verse 13 says “My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life”. Yet even in the midst of that turmoil, David emphatically says ‘you are a faithful God’ and ‘I trust in the Lord’.

Can you describe a time where you experienced anguish of your soul? I know I can. Those can be some of the deepest and darkest times in our lives. And yet, here is David stating, ‘You care about the anguish of my soul’. Did you catch that? The God of the Universe – CARES about you and the anguish of your soul. He is not so distant as to not know or care. He hears. He responds. He provides a place of safety and rest. Here is what the verse says:

I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,

for you care about the anguish of my soul. ~ Psalm 31:7

Over and over in the scripture, we see where the Lord intervened in the lives of those who were faithful. It didn’t mean that their lives were perfect or without trials. What it did mean is that when they experienced the struggles that we all face in life, they had a firm foundation. They found their source of strength in the Lord. That is why David says with confidence:

How great is the goodness You have stored up for those who fear you.

You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,

Blessing them before the watching world. ~ Psalm 31:19

Love the Lord all you godly ones! For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,

but he harshly punishes the arrogant. So be strong and courageous,

all you who put your hope in the Lord. ~ Psalm 31:23-24

So tonight rest in the shelter and protection of the Lord. Lay all your worries and concerns at his feet. Cry out in anguish to the Lord who hears and cares. Know that the Lord is good and he loves you more than you can think or imagine.

Psalm 30

I decided to sit down this evening and write a new blog – so today we are going to look at Psalm 30. This Psalm of David begins with a bold statement:

I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me.

You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.

~ Psalm 30:1

I find these statements of rescue and restoration from enemies interesting. When we think of many Old Testament stories, the enemies are a very real threat. People wanted to kill David. The enemies he faced were not just calling him names or bad mouthing him on social media.

What or whom would we consider an enemy? Do you have any enemies? Personally, I don’t think I have anyone who is out to kill me. I don’t feel that there is anyone that is threatening to take my life. But I do have a very real enemy. The devil (Satan) certainly is out to destroy my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But personally, I struggle with another enemy. That enemy is me.

Have you ever heard that nagging voice in your head that whispers…

If only you had done this…

If only you hadn’t done that…

You’ll never be good enough…

Why do you even try…

They sound extreme, don’t they? And yet, if I were to take a poll, I bet many of us have struggled from time to time, with feelings of inadequacy or times of failure.

But here is the good news!

Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime!

Psalm 30:4-5

Did you catch the end of verse 5? HIS FAVOR LASTS A LIFETIME!

I sure have a GREAT reason to Sing to the LORD! Even when I mess up in a big way. Even when the enemy is whispering in my ear. Even when I don’t feel adequate. His favor lasts a LIFETIME. A LIFETIME. Let those few words sick into your heart, soul, and mind today.

Shout it from the rooftops SING TO THE LORD – HIS FAVOR LASTS A LIFETIME!

Psalm 29

Have you ever had the opportunity to go out to the Rockies? Back in the early 80’s, I lived in Colorado and going up into the mountains was one of my favorite things to do. Driving up above the tundra, where there was limited vegetation, you could see for miles. The open sky, the open countryside, the fresh air; the majesty of God’s creation. Just sitting on the side of a mountain could easily be described as my happy place. No agenda. No hurry. Just calm and peace. And while up there away from the cares of the city, I could take a moment to breathe in the splendor and majesty of the Lord’s creation.

The psalmist, David, describes the power of our Lord’s voice in today’s psalm. I can just imagine the volume and crescendo as the Lord declares ‘let there be light’ in Genesis 1. David describes the voice of the Lord in the following statements.

The voice of the Lord:

Echoes above the sea

Is powerful

Is majestic

Splits the mighty cedars

Strikes with bolts of lightening

Makes the barren wilderness quake

Can you hear him? Can you hear him above the noise? Can you see how powerful and majestic he is? I know when I slow down for a minute and look around me, I can see him in the beauty around me. Tonight, when I was at the grocery store, I noticed bouquets of beautiful red roses. They looked and smelled just divine – and you know what, the Lord created those for our enjoyment.

Honor the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 29:2

Psalm 28

This is an exciting Psalm. David, while in agony, understood where his peace and protection come from. He knew that no matter what he was facing, he could cry out to the Lord and he had the expectation that the Lord would listen and respond.

This year we have seen deplorable things occurring in our nation. People hating people. Illness and disease. Political unrest. The list seems endless of the trials and tribulations we are currently facing as individuals and as a nation. David’s answer was to seek the Lord. His answer was to lift his hands and cry out to the Lord.

I’m pleading with you, Lord, help me! Don’t close your ears to my cry, for you’re my defender. Psalm 28:1a

Can’t you see me turning toward your mercy seat as I lift my hands in surrendered prayer? Now, Lord, please listen to my cry. Psalm 28:2

And while David didn’t immediately see a way out of his circumstance, he did know that the Lord would hear and answer. We too can have that confidence as we reach out to the Lord and seek his face. So let’s say with David:

May your name be blessed and built up! For you have answered my passionate cry for mercy. You are my strength and my shield from every danger. When I fully trust in you, help is on the way. I jump for joy and burst forth with ecstatic, passionate praise! I will sing songs of what you mean to me! You will be the inner strength of all your people, the mighty protector of all, the saving strength for all your anointed ones. Keep protecting and cherishing your chosen ones; in you they will never fall. Like a shepherd going before us, keep leading us forward, forever carrying us in your arms! Psalm 28: 6-9

No matter what you are facing, you can FULLY TRUST the Lord. He is our strength. He is our protector. So lift his name in praise and watch him work in your life.

Scriptures quoted from the Passion Translation

Psalm 27

Some of you may have figured out that last week I took a little trip. This wasn’t a normal vacation (holiday) trip that someone usually takes. I wasn’t planning to visit attractions and do a bunch of shopping. I just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I didn’t want to think about feeding animals and cleaning the house and making meals and all the other things that go with running a household. I just wanted to relax and spend time in God’s word. I wanted to allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life without the distractions that normally pull me in so many directions. I wanted to be peaceful. I wanted to be quiet. I wanted to listen. I wanted to learn. I wanted to hear. I wanted to see. – I think you get the picture.

Whether it was COVID-19 or just life in general, I was feeling out of sorts. I was short-tempered. I needed to regain my focus. So that is what I set out to do. I left on Thursday afternoon and travelled 840+ miles all over the state of Michigan. It was an adventure to say the least. I went without a solid plan. I went without a specific direction in mind. I went without having any hotels booked…

wait, what? – You read that correctly…no hotels booked. But that’s OK – it all worked out just perfectly.

Along my journey, I learned some things about myself. I worked through some struggles and I came to some conclusions – but more about that another time. For now, I will tell you this. I have returned with a renewed vision and focus. I have returned ready to dig into the word and share my faith. One of the ways I like to share is through this blog. I came back determined to pick up where I left off and that is Psalm 27.

Isn’t it interesting how we can pick up the word of God and it speaks directly to our situation? Verses out of this chapter were jumping off the page for me. Let’s take a look:  

The Lord is my revelation – light to guide me along the way, he’s the source of my salvation to defend me every day. I fear no one! I’ll never turn back and run from you, Lord; surround me and protect me. …Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else; I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer…Lord, when you said to me, “Seek my face,” my inner being responded, ‘I’m seeking your face with all my heart.”  Psalm 27:1, 4, and 8

That is what my journey was all about. It was about SEEKING HIS FACE WITH ALL MY HEART! Did you catch some of the nuggets in that scripture passage?


These are some strong action words that David used. These aren’t the words of someone sitting on the sidelines. These are the words of someone committed – someone sold out – someone determined. That is who I long to be. This morning at church we sang the song ‘Show me Your Glory’. The words just tie in beautifully with the essence of this Psalm.

David then sums up the Psalm with this short statement:

Here’s what I have learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting – for he will never disappoint you! Psalm 27:14

So to you I also say – keep on keeping on! The Lord is on your side and even though you may not be able to see the end of your trial (test) and even though you may not know the next step you should be taking, God is already there and he is waiting for you. Be brave – be courageous – don’t lose hope. Seek his face with every ounce of your being.

Are you reading this and saying – what is she talking about? What does this even mean? Let me know – reach out to me. I would love to spend some time showing you what it means to follow the Lord. Be blessed my friends.

Rhetoric In Our Culture Today

Today I want to chat about something that has been on my mind for a while.  There is so much rhetoric that is being spewed around our culture today. #BlackLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter Here is what I would like to share with you. In Genesis 1:27 it says, God created man in His own image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. This means that EVERYONE, no matter their race, ethnicity, or national origin, are created in God’s image. There is no differentiation.  

When I look out at our world today, I see division. I see torment. I see hatred. I see a nation on the brink. There are two ways this can go. One way leads to peace and the other way leads to destruction. How are we as believers to respond? What can we possibly do? The spiral seems to be spinning out of control. Is there any hope for our nation? How can I possibly make a difference?

That was a lot of questions – and hopefully we will be able to find some answers together.

There are many times in the Psalms that David cries out to the Lord and asks, “How long Lord”? The first thing we can do is cry out to the Lord. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.

What we need to do:

  1. Humble ourselves
  2. Pray
  3. Seek God’s face
  4. Turn from wicked ways

What God promises:

  1. Hear from heaven
  2. Forgive their sin
  3. Heal their land

But is there really any hope for our nation or are we too far gone? Well over the last several weeks there have been some amazing movements of the Holy Spirit. People are becoming believers and being baptized by the thousands. This equates to changed lives. So, is there hope for our nation? ABSOLUTELY! With God anything is possible.

But I am only one person – how can I possibly make a difference? One person times hundreds of thousands of people can make a HUGE impact. Just in the last week or so there was a movie released on Netflix that sounds deplorable (I haven’t watched it, so I am going by online reviews). Hundreds of thousands of people stood up and let their voice be heard with the hashtag CancelNetflix trending on Twitter, a petition with more than 600,000 signatures, and millions of dollars in cancelled subscriptions. Your voice is important and when many of our voices are all raised together the Lord hears and our country hears.

A couple of weeks ago Pastor Tom asked his granddaughters about their favorite verse. They both shared the same one. It is from Esther – if you haven’t read Esther, take a little while this week and read it – or watch this YouTube video: Overview of Esther. Here is the verse that they shared: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Queen Esther was one person, but her courage and bravery resulted in saving her people from destruction.

How do we walk this out in our daily lives?  If you see someone being treated unfairly because of their ethnicity or race, stand in the gap for them. If you see someone being bullied, stand in the gap for them. Be the voice for those who are oppressed. Be the voice for those who are marginalized. We can’t go back and change what has happened in the past – that is history – but we can start today.

We can decide that people made in the image of God are too important to ignore.

We can decide that people made in the image of God are valuable.

We can decide that people made in the image of God are worth fighting for.

And WHO is made in the image of God? — EVERYONE!

Do not underestimate the value and power you possess. As a child of the King and Kings and Lord of Lords, you have heaven’s army at your disposal. Stand up! Be bold! Share your faith! Be the light and hope that the world is seeking.

I also wanted to share a song with you – Do Something by Matthew West

Be blessed my friends!

Psalm 26

Today was day one of the Global Leadership Summit ( #GLS20 ). After absorbing a lot of information and starting to process it, I decided that it was time for me to sit down and write again. So here I am preparing to write about the next Psalm on my list – and what do you know, it ties in with several of the speakers from today.

One of the interviews was with Sadie Robertson Huff. She had some interesting things to share but one of them really stuck out for me. She talked about how important it is for her generation to see honesty and authenticity. You see in our world messages are refined, pictures are touched-up, and our lives reflect an illusion of perfection. I know you have seen the pictures on Facebook that give the illusion of perfect family moments when down deep inside we are struggling, our families are falling apart, and we are simply hanging on by a thread – I know this because I have lived it.

Psalm 26 finds the psalmist making some rather bold declarative statements like

You be my judge and declare me innocent – verse 1

Lord, you can scrutinize me – verse 2

These statements are seeking openness and honesty. They are making a declaration of transparency. You cannot ask the God of the universe to judge you and scrutinize you while at the same time presenting a visage that is hidden or touched-up.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us open and vulnerable. It leaves us looking for ways that we can remain faithful even when the world around us is trying to drag us away. The psalmist addresses this in the remaining verses of Psalm 26. While the world is trying to draw us away, we are going to remain faithful. While the world is trying to entice us, we are going to walk only in the way that is right. When the world is trying to distract us, we are going to proclaim publicly that God is our Lord and we will stand on righteousness alone!

Today I hope you are ready to make the declarative statements that David made in verses 1 & 2. As I make those statements in my own life, I pray that the Lord will find me to be faithful. That I will have the boldness and transparency to live my life for him and him alone.

Psalm 25

 To say we are in an interesting time in history is an understatement. I often wonder how many people are writing journals and documenting experiences from a personal level as well as local, state, national and international perspective. Every day the news is full of stories of life and death, triumph and failure and it all revolves around COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We have questions about our health, job, finances. We wonder when we will be able to see our family, friends and even neighbors. If you weren’t living through this right now, it would be hard to believe some of the trials.

Personally, I haven’t been able to find toilet paper, flour, or rice at a grocery store for over a month. Stay Home, Stay Safe initiatives and Shelter in Place mandates have left us with questions and concerns. When will this end? When will we be able to resume our normal daily activities? When will we be back to work? When will groceries be easier to find? What about school? So many questions and quite frankly nobody has a definitive answer because nobody really knows how quickly this virus is going to spread.

But here is what I do know – God is in control. He isn’t surprised by what is occurring in the world today. He also isn’t surprised by our reaction to this global pandemic.

Today in Psalm 25 we see that David is praying for protection and forgiveness. Let’s look at a few of the verses and then we will unpack it a bit.

O LORD, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God!  ~Psalm 25:1

 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Remember, O LORD, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.   ~Psalm 25:4-7

The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands. For the honor of your name, O LORD, forgive my many, many sins.   ~Psalm 25:10-11

My eyes are always on the LORD, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies. Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins.   ~Psalm 25:15-18

David recognized his reliance on God for protection from his enemies. He also acknowledged his shortcomings (sins) for which he asks forgiveness. The piece that really stands out to me is the amount of time David takes to honor and extol the greatness of the Lord. It makes the fear of his enemy pale in comparison to the greatness of our God.

Today we are facing an enemy that we can’t see or hear. It is an invisible enemy that is moving throughout our communities and sneaking into our homes. We have the option to live in fear of this virus, or we can place our anxiety at the feet of the Lord and confess that we struggle.

Verse 1 really spoke to me as I read through Psalm 25 and it is my prayer. O LORD, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God!  If I am going to speak those words, do I trust the Lord enough to let go of my fear and let go of my worry? For those days and times when I am not completely trusting the Lord, may I cry out and seek his forgiveness because he loves us with unfailing love.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me conditionally. May I follow you as you teach me and lead me. Have mercy on me when I fail. You are faithful. You are worthy of all our praise. You are my rock, my shield, my protector. I give you my life and I trust in you! Amen

Psalm 24

Personally, for me, this Psalm of David serves as a checkpoint. A passage to sit and think about. A place to pause for a moment and examine my heart, my thoughts, my motives. Let’s start by looking at verse 1:

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.

Two words really jump out for me – EVERYTHING and ALL. Some would read this and focus on the word BELONG and see God as a possessive ruler who controls those who follow him. But I see the Lord of the universe who loves what he created and longs for his creation to have a relationship with him. Let’s look at verses 3-5:

Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.

I can’t think of anything greater than receiving the LORD’s blessing and having a right relationship with Him! The key here is that it is our choice. God doesn’t force us into a relationship with him. He doesn’t manipulate or strong arm us into submission. He longingly lovingly patiently waits for us to seek him. Verses 7 & 8 poetically describes this opportunity we have to welcome the King:

Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, invincible in battle.

If you are reading this at the time it was writted, you are aware of the global pandemic that we are currently experiencing. If you are reading this years later, 2020 was the year of Coronavirus COVID-19. We are seeing things that we have never experienced in our lifetime. People dying by the hundreds and thousands. An economy that is turned upside down. Medical experts scrambling to find a cure or at least something to slow the spread. We are living in a cesspool of fear and uncertainty.  But even in the midst of all this, there is a light in the darkness. There are people that are sharing their resources, giving their time and reaching out to their friends and neighbors. There are families that are spending time together and building relationships. There are front-line workers that are risking exposure every day.

Perhaps you are reading this today and you are saying – I don’t see it. I am afraid. I am scared. I am terrified. May I suggest the following: lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and he with me. ~ Revelation 3:20

As I am sitting here writing this post, I have been struggling with coughing and asthma symptoms for the last couple of days. Am I infected? I don’t know. I don’t have a fever, so I am hopeful that it is simply an asthma flair up. Could I worry? Could I fret? Yes, and quite frankly that would be an easy trap in which to fall. But I know that the LORD is by my side and I am trusting him.

Whatever you are struggling with today, reach out to the Lord. Pray. Ask for guidance. Ask for forgiveness. Seek him.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ~ Matthew 7:7-8

Psalm 23

I can’t think of anything to say about this passage that hasn’t already been said by preachers and teachers throughout the ages – other than this – Psalm 23 is very personal. David understood the relationship between a shepherd and the sheep, and he gives us a glimpse into the love of our Lord, our shepherd. Let’s look at this passage the same way we looked at Psalm 21 – make it personal for you. Replace the personal pronouns with your name.

The Lord is Jackie’s shepherd; I have all that I need. ~ Psalm 23:1 NLT

Let’s stop right there and pause and think about this. I am protected and cared for by the Lord – the God of the universe! What more could I possibly need?

He lets Jackie rest in green meadows; he leads Jackie beside peaceful streams. ~ Psalm 23:2 NLT

Read it again – and read it slowly – think about what it is saying. With businesses closing and the governor’s stay home mandate, rest and peace aren’t things that come readily to mind. The what-ifs and stress can easily over shadow the rest and peace of meadows and streams. So read it again, slowly. Think about God’s promises.

He renews Jackie’s strength. He guides Jackie along right paths, bringing honor to his name. ~ Psalm 23:3 NLT

I don’t know how you have been feeling the past week or so but I have found all the questions and news and speculation exhausting. After watching the news for a few hours, I decided that I needed to limit my time listening to the COVID-19 reporting and only listen to a few of the highlights each evening. I needed to make different choices. Choices that will lead to renewal of my strength. The Lord has provided the tools, I just need to follow along the path where he is guiding me.

Take the rest of the verses from Psalm 23. Write it out with your name. Meditate on what it means for you to have the Lord as your shepherd. Share your insights with your friends, family or here on this page. And above all, remember we are not alone in this journey called life. The Lord is by your side each step of the way and he longs to be your shepherd.