Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Psweet 3 (v1-3)

‘Lord, I’m public enemy no.1-they’re all out to take me out. They think you’ve left me high&dry, but you’re the force field that surrounds me’

(Thought – If you bumped into David as he was beginning this psalm, he’d probably say ‘who are you?’ and give funny looks at your converse shoes and red thundercats t-shirt, he’d probably tell you duck down cos people are out to get his head on a silver platter…and then, soon as he knows the coast is clear and you start making small talk with the guy; you’ll say ‘Alright Dave, how’s it going?’

He probably won’t reply with ‘Oh yeah, life’s great – stuff’s just fine and dandy’…probably cos nobody really speaks like that anyway and cos he’ll probably look at you odd again and say ‘so who are you?’.

But after, going very far off the point, I’ll bring it back by saying that David’s being honest wih himself and God. I love the fact praying to God for him was like conversation…and honest conversation at that. He’s laying his odds down in front of God, they’re not looking great but he still manages to see the bigger picture, he still finds that hope. That God IS God. That God is protecting him and God is keeping David’s chin up (v3)

And so God helps David see, that despite how the situation seems; God hasn’t left him…Lord, help us realize you never leave us – however the situation seems, and help us see the hope you give, and that you are it.)

 

Psweet 4 (v1-3)

‘Guys, when’s it gonna stop? U embarrass me and show God jack all respect. You worship lower case gods but he’s the 1 with the caps lock.’

(Thought – I heard a podcast by Marc Driscoll who said that as humans, God created us to be ‘unceasing worshippers’ but if anything other than God is getting our attention; we’re worshipping idols…in David’s day it might have been shrine’s, mythology and Statues, today it’s more like food, sex, money and ourselves…Lord, forgive us when we don’t give you all we’ve got, forgive us when we worship lower case ‘gods’, and help us remember – that you’re the one with the caps lock.’)

 

Psweet 5 (v1-2)

‘Open your ear canal to my sentences Lord. Note down my sighs& anxieties, see my flare when I’m SOS. It’s your attention I’m after.’

(Thought – This is an incredibly simple thought…David wants God to listen…and guess what; he always does. He doesn’t sigh and think ‘Oh here we go, this one’s been banging on about this problem for months’, he doesn’t pretend that he hasn’t been receiving our prayers; because he does, he always does. …Lord, help us to remember that you’re always listening and that you love conversation with your children. Help us to always bring our prayer requests to you; And what better place to be, than to be like David in verse 3, starting the day with a good old chin wag with the Father. So help us lord, not to press the snooze button too often!!)

 

Psweet 6 (v1-4, 6)

‘God, go easy on me. Mend me cos I’m covered in cast &walking on crutches. My soul’s het up, emotionally I’m wrecked. Come back &pick me up’

(Thought – David knows he probably doesn’t deserve God’s mercy…and he doesn’t, Romans 3:23 reminds us that none of us really deserve anything from God, cos we just don’t make the cut…but David asks for it anyway. And if you think about it – God shows  us unlimited mercy; he goes easy on us by sending his son to take the rap for us on the cross.

But David tells God how he’s doing, and he’s not doing good. Wrecked top to bottom, emotionally and physically, nothing seems to be going his way. Maybe he’s not grinning cheek to cheek; but he still goes to the only place that can truely help…Lord help us turn to you, not just in the easy times but when life gets tough too. Save us becasue your love never fails.)

 

Psweet 7 (v1-5)

‘Lord;be my B&B when my tents battered. My enemies wanna end me, rip me to shreds&do a drive-by. But if I’ve had it coming; let it happen.’

 (Thought – Lord, help us to remember that you are our refuge…help us Lord not to be too proud to go it alone, and to try and do it in our own strength. Help us to gladly run to you for shelter. And when we do, I bet there’s a change of clothes and a brew of our favourite cuppa waiting).

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This is the first ‘psweets’ re-cap and since it began on the well rounded day of Thursday just gone; there are only two to re-cap!

Psweet 1 (v1-2)

Well good’s the guy who doesn’t take moral advice from bad company.But who raves about quiet times &is all about gettin stuck into scripture

(Thought – This is just a great reminder of what our lifestyle should be like, Lord help us to be this guy…)

 

Psweet 2 (v2-5)

Whoever thinks they’re a matchup on God is a comedian.God laughs it off, puts them in their place, then shows them what he’s really made of.

(Thought – Let’s not let our image of God and the love he has for us be unbalanced with a fluffy bunny, gingham heart type love. Yes God ‘is’ love, but he’s also God who hates sin and demands that what we worship him solely. Let’s remember how magnificent he is, nobody’s on par with him and whoever thinks he is, is going to get humbled. I know, strong stuff…Lord, help us balance our image of you. To know the unfailing love you have for us, but yet be in awe of you and v 11;  serve you with fear and rejoice in trembling.

Psweets

When I say sweets, I bet the first item of confectionary which comes into your head is wine gums, either that or fruit pastels. And if I’m wrong, then no sweets for me.

But unfortunately, this post isn’t really about sweets at all – its not even about jelly babies or those lollypops you dip in a bag of lemon sherbet. This post is more of an introduction into a writing project of mine which I started working on over the summer, and ‘Psweets’ (spoken with a silent ‘p’) is what I’m deciding to call it. In a nutshell, ‘Psweets’ are psalm tweets.

I’ve been quite inspired by the challenge twitter gives in getting whatever you want to say down to 140 characters or less (including spaces). I’ve also been quite inspired by Gerard Kelly’s ‘twittergies‘ where he uses the twitter format to create personal liturgies.

And so over the summer I thought of a new project…tweeting psalms…one tweet for one psalm. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to fit a whole psalm into a tweet (I’m already looking forward to Psalm 119!) but I can take a couple of verses from it that stood out to me, I can try and catch the essence of the Psalm, and instead of cutting and pasting from bible gateway I thought I could try and re-word the psalms in my poetic conversational style.

Not only has it already been a challenge to me creatively, but it’s been fantastic going through the psalms and join the faith journey of highs and lows with the likes of King David. It’s spiritually edifying, but then its going to be because it’s meditating on God’s word.

It assures me that I don’t have to be a constant cloud number nine Christian where it’s a sin to be anything other than ecstatic and enthusiastic. It reminds me how in awe I should be of my heavenly Father, of how much love and grace he shows us, yet how we should not forget to fear him also. And along with these, it also re-jogs my memory of how it’s always been about a personal relationship with him, even before incarnate Jesus.

So that being said, my hope for these psalm tweets is not that they take over Scripture. I don’t profess to be a Hebrew Scholar like Eugene Peterson with ‘The Message’, but I have a heart to re-connect with God’s word and not get lost in translation. I don’t claim that these ‘psweets’ are ‘God’s word’, but I hope if anything, they help give snip bits and a fresh perspective on the psalms we’re reading. 

My plan of attack is to ‘psweet’ five days a week; Monday to Friday and then re-cap the ‘psweets’ on my blog over the weekend. To follow my ‘psweets’; click here

End gass – but begin ‘psweet’

When I think of God I think of his compassion for us.

Not in a…

                 ‘airy fairy, God’s a lovey dovey and nothing else’

way, but in a…

                ‘perfect love which I don’t deserve that transcends all understanding’

kinda way.

We don’t get what we deserve…in the good sense!

This maybe one of the simplest things, but I feel is one of the most significant.

The more we realise we deserve nothing, the more we can grasp the beauty of what we have in God. The more we realise that without him, we’re done for, the more we grasp the level of his forgiveness that’s through the roof.

Christ died for us cos by our own measure – we were done for. But in him – we have freedom, in him – we’re made right. And we have to see this in the right way…not that we are mess, but that no matter how much we are mess – God loves us through and through.

This is compassion…

‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’…there it is.

As a welshman (a gassing hairy one), I’m very proud of my culture, heritage and passion that I’ve grown up with. Somehow, soon as we entered the world for the first time, we look around us and we don’t cry like other babies…we’re comforted by the picteresque hills that surround us. Our first words aren’t ‘Mammy’ or ‘Daddy’…they’re ‘alright butt?’

We’re born with a passion for our land…much to the point that it seems as if knowing our National Anthem is more important than any qualification we could ever get.

And with this in mind – one of the biggest things that unite as a nation – is international day with an oval shaped ball. Over the years, Ryan Giggs came close to winning over our hearts but just didn’t quite cut it – especially since our rugby skills grew from…

‘run forward and hope for the best’

 to…

‘exciting rugby’ reminiscent of the 70’s.

And I am one of many ‘boyo’s and butt’s – who love watching the welsh dragon fly high as we cross over the try line…(especially if its against the english!) But if only we blokes in the church could get as passionate about God as we did every time the six nations crop up, if only we got to know the living word as well as we know our top 15.

I do love my rugby, and this is not meant to put a dampner on our passion for it. I love it – its a big part of welsh identity and I do so hope we finally get our act together against the paddies and play for the full 80 minutes, as opposed to just turning up in the second half!

BUT; as blokes who attend church, who follow God, who seek to know him more – got as passionate about God as we did every time Shane goes over on the left wing; then who knows…maybe our walk with him would get just as exciting, if not more so. Just a thought.

End Gass.

Extract (Matt 5:27)

…Adultery’s not just sleeping with the neighbours wife, its thinking about what she’s like in bed

 

 

Thoughts

Ok, this is pretty heavy stuff for first thing in the morning isn’t it? But then, Jesus wasn’t one for tip-toeing around awkward bits of scripture. He didn’t think – ‘oh, i’d tell them this another time, don’t want to cause a fuss.’

It wasn’t all a popularity contest for him, what mattered most to him was (and still is) us, he cared enough to say it as it is – and if anyone down the line ever had the authority to say something, the son of God has to come in pole position for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for truth with love. Corinth 13 Paul talks about truth being a waste of time without it. We see when the pharisees try and corner Jesus with what to do about ‘the woman caught in adultery’. The law said stone her, he said – first ‘Alright then, whoever thinks he’s Mr. Perfect – throw it.’

But right now Jesus is focusing on the 10 commandments and what it really means to keep them. First we had murder – no problem for the vast majority of people, but don’t get angry? That’s a whole different kettle of fish.

 

So numero two…(there’s nothing like some span-glish is there?)

‘…Adultery’s not just sleeping with the neighbours wife, its thinking about what she’s like in bed.’

The first part – adultery. Can and will probably continue to be a temptation for guys in the church. Has and will continue to destroy people’s lives and cut off people’s trust…

a) in relationships

and

b) in a God that is for us.

Its an area where Satan knows he can tempt us to do some real damage.  Its so big infact, as adament Jesus was about Divorce being a black and white no go area, if adultery comes into the equation – Divorce becomes a viable option. God knows what its like for us to cheat on him, continuously with other Gods (I’m not talking about God catching us have a starbucks with buddha here) he knows how it feels – it hurts.

But Jesus goes a step further to really make us think about how we keep rule number 7…and so with this in mind, short answer, if i’m honest with myself is I don’t. And to put ‘adultery’ and ‘perhaps letting your eyes linger on someone a little longer than you know you should’ even in the same ball park is really challenging and uncomfortable. David’s on a rooftop enjoying the view (maybe even with a glass of merlot?) but then he lets himself enjoy the view a little too much. And we all know what happens next; things spiral out of control – and from that, he finds himself braking half the rules all at once.

This is something as guys, as supposed men of God who have wifes, fiances and girlfriends (not all at once) – we need to get passionate about sorting. Why? Because we have a responsibility to our women and to God. If you’re reading this and you feel uncomfortable – good, (I’m glad i’m not the only one). But then, if you’re reading this and you know in your heart you’re sorted, that rule number 7 is a piece of cake; then good for you…even better.

Over and out; A Gassing Hariy Welshman

What’s your thoughts?

 

Alright, alright you got me – its called the ‘sermon on the mount’. For what reason I don’t know – part from the fact Jesus gave a sermon on a mountain, I’m stuck on how its a relevant title. Quite frankly, I find it misleading…did he have a lecturn up there? was he using powerpoint? Na, i reckon his communication and storytelling skills would’ve held a crowds attention just fine without.

So ramble over Matthew 5: 17 Jesus says this…

I’m not here to jack in the law, I’m here to fulfill it.’

This was proper important for the Jews to get – there’s a big difference. God doesn’t back peddle, he doesn’t stick his hands up and say…’sorry, guys – it was me, I messed up…can we try again?!’ Why? Well, simply cos he doesn’t mess up – he knows what he’s doing.

So, when the Son of God (who is God in flesh) enters planet earth – he doesn’t come as a contradiciton, he comes as a fullfillment; not plan A – 10 commandments, plan B – Jesus…its all plan A.

Next…

‘he elaborates on the rules they claim to know so much about.’

 Matt 5: 21-22

1.  Don’t murder = don’t get angry

How huge is this? Making the comparison of murder and anger.

Now, sometimes I could murder a Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and hazlenut syrup…but I’d like to think i wouldn’t have it in me to murder someone…I’d feel like killing a conversation on somehting like extreme chess, I’d happily shoot clay pigeons on the wii, but guys killing someone? Who do you think I am here Stacey Slater?!

I wouldn’t…(so no need to sleep with one eye open tonight!) And, lets put this into context –

if I was one of the Jews munching away on some manna, what would I say when Moses comes down with 10 tablets?

 ‘cheers for the asprin Mos, my heads pounding’…maybe

But after the pain relief gag – I’d take a look at the 10 golden rules…look up Number 6 and think…

‘Yeah, even if I am forced to watch Eastenders, I reckon I can hold to that!’

But this is where Jesus shakes it up, where he fills in the gaps – its not just what we do large scale, Its what we do fullstop. If the motive’s there, its just as bad as the action. And getting angry, its just as much a sin as murder. I may not strike people as the most angry person, but I do have my moments. And from this – I think two things…

1) I’m challenged to not lose my rag (maybe I could invest in a stress ball?)

and

2) I am grateful that I’m made righteous through faith in him, cos if I’d be seeking to be sorted with God solely on the law, I’d be screwed!

What’s your thoughts?