Joys and Sorrows, Brutal Honesty in the Psalms

A fascinating conversation between Bono and Eugene Peterson revolving around their common interest in the Psalms. God works in all of us and is available to all of us.

Thank you to artist Kevin Max for sharing this on Facebook where I first encountered it. The video is 21 minutes long, I encourage you to take a listen as I believe God may have something there for each of us.

The video is based on interviews conducted by Fuller Seminary faculty member David Taylor and produced in association with Fourth Line Films, the film highlights in particular a conversation on the Psalms that took place between Bono, Peterson, and Taylor.

God can and is found in art whether if be music, poetry, drawing, painting or writing. We only need open our eyes and look, making ourselves available to his beauty and glory. Art should express a reality and truth, both the good and bad. The depths of emotion found in the psalms is an example for us to shed our masks and become vulnerable before God for he accepts us and loves just as we are, right where we are. God Bless!

 

 

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Are You Willing to Listen?

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‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ ~Jeremiah 33:3

I have somewhat of a tradition where I try to select a bible verse that I believe God has revealed to me as a guiding light for the year. Some years it comes easy right after January 1st and other years well, I just seem to not hear anything to not be listening.

Well, this year for 2015 it was confirmed to me that the words of Jeremiah 33:3 is the promise I need. Since turning 50, (oh my, somewhat surprised I made it this far!) last summer many questions have surfaced, such as.

> Am I where and who I want to be?
> Where do I go from here?
> Is there more than this?

Some existential questions and some as simple as why do I not laugh more. After all I am very blessed. Well, maybe that is not as simple of a question as I first thought.

My seeking, my discovering and my journey as lead me to one inescapable conclusion. I need to stop running and be still. More importantly, when I do finally get around to asking a question;

I need to stop and listen more.

What do you need to stop and what do need to do?

Behold, A White Horse

In the quiet before the coming storm,
in the dark before the first light of morn.
Out of the black night they come,
souls for the taking they have won.
From beyond the blood-red moon,
destruction and disease screams a terrifying tune.

Behold, a light-colored steed.
Ridden by death, its only purpose to make souls bleed.
Behold, a dusky charger.
Ridden by judgement, its only purpose to make life harder.
Behold, a scarlet mount.
Ridden by chaos, its only purpose to make nothing count.
Behold, a sallow pony.
Ridden by defeat, its only purpose to make conquest only.

The huntsmen were led by the dragon snake,
who turned the sun to black; its thirst to slake.
Those who were left fled in terror and fear,
a voice speaking of a fortress refuge; so we hear.
He will cover us with His feathers as a shield about us,
His angels will defend the throne; in this we trust.
He sets us on high, because we know His name,
set free by His mercy and kindness; we are never the same.

We call on Him and He will respond in swift deliverance.
He tramples the serpent in a moment of eternal significance.

Behold, a white horse!
Ridden by faith and truth, its only purpose to make all things new.

~Mark Schutter ©2014

(The poem above was inspired by verses from Psalm 91 and Revelation 6 and 19:11 from the bible. On this Halloween night where the veil between worlds may be thin I wished to convey that although there is evil, there is something stronger that wins in the end. This is also poem 31 of 31 for the month of October Poetry Writing Month. It is finished, now onto National Novel Writing Month and 50,000 words. God bless! ~M)

Nehemiah – An Introvert Following God

Prior to beginning an all church fast our Pastor, Jon Cobler preached on Nehemiah last weekend.  As I finished day one of the fast it got me to thinking about praying and a previous post I had posted on blogger long ago.  I dug it out, edited it a little bit and thought I would share it here with you….

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When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.  Nehemiah 1:4

When Nehemiah heard of the destruction of Jerusalem he first prayed to God, prior to speaking.  The movement occurred inside, before he spoke or took any action.  A true introvert who thinks before speaking who is more concerned with the inner world of the mind enjoying praying, thinking, exploring thoughts and feelings.  Nehemiah looked for direction from God.  And then some months later …

Then the king said to me, “What would you request ?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 2:4

Again, when King Artaxerxes noticed that Nehemiah was sad in his presence when he brought wine to the king as the cup bearer, Nehemiah prayed before speaking.  He asked God for the right words not to avoid the conversation but to speak truth in boldness in spite of his fear at addressing the king with the pain he felt at the fall of Jerusalem.

Our first inclination before speaking or acting should be to fall to our knees either literally or figuratively to seek the guidance of Almighty God.  To seek His direction, His truth and His strength to carry out whatever task He has set before us.  I pray that as a world, a nation and individual people that each one of us would seek God’s direction for our lives moment by moment.  If we would pray to the God of heaven in all things how much different might our world and our lives be in 2013?  Through His strength and grace I believe we could change the world.

"The Book"    Maleko ©2012Colored Pencil Drawing 3.5 x 5 inches

“The Book”           Maleko ©2011
Colored Pencil Drawing 3.5 x 5 inches