An Audacious Goal

Dear Blog,
FIRST, a huge apology is in order for ignoring you for so long.   I have practically abandoned you for months and I am sorry.  And to make it up to you, I pledge to post something (I have a goal in mind) for the next few months as I ask you to hold me accountable.

SECOND, the goal is go the through the entire book of Psalms.  How would you like to journey with me through the book of Psalms?  Wait …you say – do you know how many psalms there are?  Yes and that’s exactly how I plan to keep you company as we go through that pilgrimage together.  Your role, dear blogger, is to ensure that I stay on track by writing 5 entries a week.  Promise to help me out?
Ready? 
Great!
FOR starters, the psalms are great.  Without question the Book of Psalms has been the single most influential and widely used book of the Bible in both the Jewish and Christian faith. We can easily identify with the authors of the psalms because in some fashion they express our heart’s cry.  Ever felt the desire to praise and thank God, in order words they express our own emotions and feelings before the Lord.  
 
DID YOU KNOW?
IT is the largest book in the Bible. It is comprised of 150 psalms and was composed over several centuries starting with Moses. David takes the lead with 73 psalms as Israel’s “beloved singer of songs”. Other authors were the sons of Korah, Asaph, King Solomon, and Ethan. The writers are often identified in the superscriptions.
The book of Psalms is divided into 5 sections and it has been said that they are arranged in a similar fashion as the Pentateuch (The 5 Books of Moses). They are arranged as follows:  Book I: 1-41, Book II: 42-72, Book III: 73-89, Book IV: 90-106, and Book V: 107-150.
No doubt in your own reading of the psalms, you have encountered a variety of psalms and theologians have labeled them as: psalms of laments to the Lord, messianic that point towards the Lord Jesus, psalms of praise and thanksgiving, royal, wisdom, affirmations, trust, penitential, and even imprecatory psalms calling down God’s wrath on the enemy.
Perhaps your desire is not to call for God’s judgment on your enemy but you are bound to find one or more psalms that echo your deepest desires when you lack the words to tell the Lord exactly what you feel from deep within your soul.
And so begins my pilgrim journey as I will take the road traveled by the psalmists as I look forward to learning how they accepted their trials and turned them to triumph, how they’ve failed, repented and accepted God’s forgiveness. But above and beyond that, I look to encounter the Most High God and Immanuel –“God with us”.
Got your backpack ready?  Let’s go.
“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified”  Acts 20:32
 
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MARCH FORWARD

There’s something about the beginning of a new year.  In reality, anything ‘new’ carries within it some excitement – something to discover.  It’s about a:

·         Clean slate
·         Starting over
·         New page
·         New beginning
·         New resolution
·         Recommitment to broken resolutions

Sadly, not long thereafter, it becomes business as usual. Personally, I tend to go back to my old ways and settle into my old routines.  I want to do something ‘new’ this year and not let the old defines the new.  I want to invite the Lord to reign as the King of Kings in my life in 2010.  To do that means I have to dethrone myself first so that He can reign.  I want permission to venture onto unknown territories with God and take off the ‘safe’ mask if only for the Father to behold Himself.
Father, I ask that you will:

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Attributed – sir Francis Drake -1577
In that spirit, we welcome you, 2010 and May the Lord crown the year with His good blessings. Psalm 65:11

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How To Draw Away From God

I started listening to LifeChurch.TV podcasts a few days ago.  I must say since then I’ve listened to a number of sermons by Craig Groeschel and one of them was part of a series called Five Steps to wreck your life.  In one of the messages, he outlines the necessary steps to draw away from God and if follows closely – mission will be accomplished.
And they are:
1. You must neglect your time with God
2. If you don’t like your circumstances, blame God.
3. Hang around wrong influences.
4. Give into temptation
5. Love this world more than you love God.
Finally, if all else fails fake it.
There you have it.
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I Am Back!

It has been a long time since I wrote anything here on this blog.  I am hoping to get back into the swing of things and start writing again.Hopefully.  With the coming new year, I hope to be more engaged in doing more of the things I love to do.

I cannot quite believe that 2009 has only 21 days left and it will be go down in history. So much has happened and I am praying a whole lot more.  Because this heart of mine longs for more.  Until then, my mind can’t get rid of off this song.  Perhaps for good reason. 

http://www.youtube.com/v/_Kq1LtSyM9Q&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&border=1

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Perfect Love

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:6-7 NIV

Words cannot convey the meaning of these verses. I certainly don’t deserve such love and from the bottom of my heart ‘Thank You Lord’. May God bless you as we ponder the great love that the Father has bestowed upon us.

Blessings!!!

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Destination – Bethany

“Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet, and then she wipted his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house” John 12:3

6 days before Jesus’ crucifixion, before he could cry out “It is finished” , he stopped by Simon the leper’s house along with his disciples and other invitees to eat. Many times, He had told his disciples of a day coming when He was to be handed over to be killed. Of course– they did not grasp it or understood why he had to die. For it was for this very purpose that He came.

His destination was Simon the leper’s house. But not any longer, just Simon. No doubt he was well received at Simon’s house. The host was personally touched by the Lord. No longer was he spending long hours in quarantine – now there were joyous times in the company of loved ones. Now he could be touched and hugged by his family. Jesus healed him and he was able to be part of society again – this time in his own house, full of friends and laughter with the Lord as his personal guest.

A life totally changed by a loving Saviour who came to heal the sick and saved the lost. Simon knew it first hand and He probably made sure that Jesus knew that He could stop by in Bethany at his house any time. In the days that were ahead, Jesus was to go to many other homes such as the high priest and Pilate’s –not as a welcome guest but to be interrogated and insulted. Imagine – God was in Pilate’s home and He could not see him.

Same house and behind Jesus came a woman. Her Mary was Mary. Contrary to the disciples’ refusal to believe that Jesus would be crucified, Mary came with the intent to anoint Jesus with her very expensive perfume for his burial. She believed Jesus when he spoke of his death while others doubted. We are told that the perfume was worth a year’s wages but she believed that her Lord was worth it and more. So she gave all she had. Lazarus was in the gathering – perhaps she looked at her brother and pondered the miraculous event when Jesus ordered him to come forth – and out he came with his grave clothes still on. Her own brother was given a second chance at life just like Simon.

What prompted Mary to do such a great gesture? Did she always carry the vial of perfume with there? Why that particular day? Did she have some insight that the disciples did not?

Perhaps she said to herself – this is the perfect opportunity to anoint the Lord before his burial. Let your imagination take you to Simon’s house and witness this beautiful event that is still being spoken of thousand of years later just like Jesus predicted.

Walking behind Jesus as he reclined at the table (not tables like ours), so she was probably standing over him and may be all eyes were on her. A brave woman she was. The disciples were probably wondering what she was doing after all she was a ‘woman’ and needed to be quiet while the ‘guys’ enjoyed the moment. As she poured the perfume over his head and I imagined it running down his shoulders then his back as the fragrance filled the whole house. Yes, she was mocked and rebuked for not using the perfume for a better cause. But she poured out her affection and love for her Jesus. So appreciate was the Lord that she rushed to her rescue telling the ‘know-better-ones’ to hush and ‘leave her alone’.

Max Lucado in his book, ‘And the Angels Were Silent’ had this to say:

Jesus’ message is just as powerful today as it was then. Don’t miss it: “There’s a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures….And when the time comes – seize it, don’t miss it.”

Don’t leave it to SOMEDAY.

Lucado continues: The enemy of risky love is a snake whose tongue has mastered the talk of deception. ‘Someday’ – he hisses.

“Someday, I can take the cruise.”
“Someday, I will have time to call and chat.”
“Someday, the children will understand why I was so busy.”
But you know the truth, don’t you? Some days never come.

He concludes with ‘But the rewards of risky love are always greater than its cost.

Go ahead and invest the time to seize the opportunity to do something that’s been set for ‘someday’. It promises to bring joy.

May God richly bless you during the coming holy week!

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Spreading Some More Blog Love

I was tagged by precious Alicia @ Confessions of a Snowflake and she is very kind and always has a word of encouragement to share. Her blog is truly authentic and inspirational. Alicia – thanks again.

I am asked to share 7 things you may not know about me. Here I go:

1. I speak more than one language. I can read and write French and also speak Creole. I came to the US when I was 16 years old. Needless to day, it was a total culture shock as a newbie from the Caribbean. I’ve adjusted somewhat after close to 20 years but would like to believe that I am old fashion kind of a girl.

2. I am the only girl of 6 children but I do have a half sister.

3. I grew up Catholic and was an altar girl for years. Back then – my school required that we all attend mass every Sunday and it was counted as part of school attendance.

4. I can eat a 16 oz jar of peanut butter in 2 days. I haven’t done that lately because you know what could happen if I keep it up. I like the Skippy crunchy kind and it’s even better with a glass of OJ or cold lemonade. I try not to buy it because truly I do not have the willpower to walk pass peanut butter and not eat it. To help alleviate the addiction, I buy the one I do not like for the family.

5. After graduating college in 1997, I went for a Microsoft Certificate program and had to learn all aspects of this indispensable machine called a ‘computer’. I brought all the required parts and put a computer together from scratch. I used it for years prior to replacing it. I just might do that again considering parts are much cheaper now. I just upgraded the memory on my laptop and I can’t believe how cheap it was – from eBay of course. I will embark on that mission to put another one together for my son who’s been asking for a computer of his own lately.

6. My middle name is Francesca which I chose after watching the movie (The Bridges of Madison County). I officially added it as part of my name in 1996. But the main reason I chose it is because my first boyfriend which I believe was my soul mate died in a car accident – and his name was Frantz – a memorial to him. He is one of a very, very few people that I know loved me beyond the shadow of a doubt. I will forever remember him. I can’t wait to see Jesus face to face and he comes second.

7. I was a straight A student all the way through my junior year in college. I have no idea what happened. Perhaps, it was because I realized that I didn’t want to become a doctor after all. Growing up, everyone thought I ought to be one – so I never gave a second thought as to what I wanted to study. My undergrad major was Biology and in my junior year, I had a wake-up call that I was fulfilling other people’s dreams and their expectations of me and not my own. Years later- full of grey hair – I am still trying to figure out who I want to be. I am getting there slowly but surely.

I now pass on the baton to 7 other bloggers that I have enjoyed getting to know. A few of them I have recently met. Please feel free to join in or if you are pressed for time – I truly understand.

Ms. China @ A Free Spirit Butterfly

Br. Wilson @ Halleluhah

Toia @ Designer’s Original

Kim @ Grafted By Grace

Stacye @ Standing Able

SLC @ Perspective

Thanks for playing along

God bless.

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