Archive | May, 2020

my’- from psalms 44 and 63

15 May

How do the Psalms differ?

each psalm song is a prayer of beauty, a voice of caressing, spoken love by a singer who could not utter their heart in words or music before- and then, as sons of Korah, or David, – songs, psalms

“Psalm 44[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.[b]

1 We have heard it with our ears, O God;

our ancestors have told uswhat you did in their days,

in days long ago.

2 With your hand you drove out the nations

and planted our ancestors;

you crushed the peoples

    and made our ancestors flourish.

3 It was not by their sword that they won the land,

nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm,

and the light of your face, for you loved them.

4 You are my King and my God,

who decrees[c] victories for Jacob.”

Footnotes tell stories. Footnote ‘c’ speaks this story, [c] Psalm 44:4 Septuagint, Aquila and Syriac; Hebrew King, O God; / command

Here, God ‘commands’/decrees victories. The God/King is addressed with the pronoun ‘you’. The sons of Korah sing to, sing at, God in this text. Verse one has the words, ‘we/our/is/their’ in its opening.

These pronouns are personal, yet not intimate. They reflect a community singing, expressing, at a distance.

As verse 4 sings, “You are my King and my God, who decrees[c] victories for Jacob.”

God is a king who issues decrees, who produces victories fro the tribal kingdom of Jacob. A community sings about a community’s blessings.

In contrast, the Psalms of David are intensely personal. David sings close to God, his God. His ‘my’….

Psalm 63

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live

5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods, with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 I cling to you;…

There are 17 ‘I’ and ‘mes’ in these first seven and a half verses. David is intensely ‘in’; earnestly next to his, ‘my’- his God. In the shadow of his Lord’s wings, protected as a baby sparrow from heat and danger, David composes an intimate love song.

He ‘clings’ to God. His my.

How do Psalms differ? Pronouns give an answer: the Psalms differ my the singer’s hearts, their distance of hearts.

David’s God is next to him and is a personal one; Korah’s sons have a God at an arm’s length- Korah sons, whose father rebelled against Moses and God and was swallowed up in an earthen sinkhole, understandably have, keep, a distance from their God. David grabs, holds, clings to Him with and for love.

Yet, the Lord is both singers’ object, their love. They just speak, express their love songs in different ways. And all prayers end as with does Psalm 44,

26 “Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.”

His love is unfailing no matter how we sing. We are all His sons, all His daughters. All His song.

He loves us.


• Psalm 44:1 In Hebrew texts 44:1-26 is numbered 44:2-27.

• Psalm 44:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term

• Psalm 44:4 Septuagint, Aquila and Syriac; Hebrew King, O God; / command

• Psalm 44:8 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

Acts 18, ‘just as Paul was about to speak,…’ 14)

14 May

sometimes we don’t need to speak

Dear readers, sometimes we have no need to speak. Why?

– because He will not be silent; He speaks.

Our Lord speaks. He voices through images and nature; by dreams, and silences; with and into my feelings and thoughts. In sufferings and whirlwinds.

…as well as the hearts of strangers, as Gallio

“…many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”

Here, note Paul, as happens rarely, does not speak,

“14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them,”

Paul listens.

14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.”

listen today as our Lord speaks through others, thru another, and, to and through you.

weave, from Acts 18

13 May

we move into Acts 18; here, in Corinth, Saul is, becomes, fully Paul.

He enters Priscilla’s and Aquila’s household and joins them in their work: making tents.

At a dear friend’s passing, I used this scripture to describe her life. She, Paul, was a tent maker. A physician nurse in a New York hospital. A healer, a weaver of wounds.

Tents in Paul’s day were internally exquisitely decorated. Ordinary on the outside, they were a household of great threads and tapestry as you entered.


Yet, Paul, fully formed in Corinth, on his inside of heart and his mind; his spirit and his weaving hands, decides it is time to ‘devote himself exclusively to preaching.’ (5) He decides to focus on the word as his refashioning tool. And so, as he preaches, acts and writes, he invites us into his tent. Transparent, beautiful he shared his tent.

Paul’s weaving of physical tents ⛺️ metamorphoses to his own spirit, his own being and soul in Corinth.

Like My, our, dear friend Pat Ciminera, both made, make, beautiful tents of others and themselves. He asks us to enter into this tent, truly made by Jesus’ pierced hands. Jesus’ tent of wounds, healing and beauty.

Weave with the word today. Weave with Jesus, Paul and Pat today. Enter their tents.

“18 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.”

weave today.


nyc, lulu 13 May

12 May

my assembly, Psalm 40

10 May

from David Psalm 40, v. 8-10

‘I desire to do your will, O my God, you law is within my heart

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly…I do not seal my lips…I do not hide your righteousness in my heart

I speak of your faithful and salvation

I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly’

( …I will not conceal from the assembly in of my 💓 heart your great love and truth )

There is a great assembly in the heart; inner voices; overwhelming emotions; difficult and happy memories. Plans and desires for the future.

And they will always be there. So…

How can we live within this assembly? Because we are in them; and they are in, with us? How can we, do I live with all of my heart?

I proclaim, speak, call, -in cries, in whispers, – to and of him.

I quote his Word to my assembly’s heart. I use David’s and my own cries. Today, this day, I quote the end of Psalm 38 to my heart,

Psalm 38: 22

‘Come quickly to help me,

O Lord my Saviour.’

and then I pray my heart’s words

Come quickly to my heart’s assembly. I love you, my quick Lord, I love you.

I love Him. His within my assembly.

sneers, Acts 17

8 May

sneers: a smile or speak in a contemptuous or mocking manner.

18 ‘Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus,(where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship-and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth(and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead,some of them sneered, but …

dear, what is a sneer?

It is not a word, or a sigh; it is not a groan or a laugh; it is not a prayer but the expression of an attachment. An expression of inner contempt from a threaten inner attachment, from a created inner idol.

The attachment that causes a ‘sneer’ comes from my idol; what I am holding most tightly to. My family or my health; my reputation or my ideas of myself, my created man made, hand shaped self.

Most of the Athenians Paul is speaking with spend their time their times ‘talking and listening’ to their own ideas and the thoughts of others. Attachments listen, speak and will sneer at all that threaten.

What we/I spend our time on and what listen and talk about (whether internally or externally) is our attachment, our idol.

And if another seeks to displace or question this attachment, we sneer. How could another be better, any other, be worth more? I, your attachment, am you. Nothing can replace me.

Idols of the heart, attachments, are not easily removed. Yet, there is a ‘but’ …

some ‘want to hear more’

Be that ‘some’ as you move through your day; replace the idol that attaches. – renounce; then rejoice. Pray Jesus, his name and deeds; his life and love; his word and words, into your heart. With each step, pray the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

He does not ‘sneer’-he only loves.

He loves you, and places mercy on you,

On me. Us. Be the some today who desire more of His attachment, His mercy. Love.