Journey Concluded

    We’ve come to the end. Two years of wandering through the book of Psalms, looking and listening for God. A path of 150 steps…some short, some long…a variety of scenery along the way.

I am thankful to have had this season, to experience some of the richness of this book, which goes far beyond the comfort of Ps 23 or the length of Ps 119. Of course, there are still some passages that felt too rushed, there is still a call to linger longer. But thankfully, the Word of God isn’t being taken away from me at this journey’s end; there is still opportunity in my lifetime to come back again. At least now, I have some idea of what God reveals of Himself in this book, the calling and invitation He extends to me in these pages and verses.

This site will remain online, perhaps to serve as a resource for those that may take up a similar journey at a later date. Perhaps I will add comments in the future, as I am called back and continue to reflect on these songs and hymns.

For those of you that came along–whether for the entire journey or just a portion–I trust that you have found some encouragement, some nourishment for your spirit on the way. I hope there will yet be more opportunities to walk with God through His Word in community with others.

To Christ be the glory in the Church, now and forever. Amen.

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What is this?

2 Years of Psalms is a forum for spiritual growth, birthed by a desire to connect with God through His Word.

This blog is intended to facilitate relationship with God by outlining a reading plan for working slowly through the Book of Psalms over two years (July 2012–July 2014), and then providing a place where thoughts can be shared. Mostly, I’m putting my personal journey out there, and hoping that others will share their thoughts and perspectives, creating a community of encouragement and insight.

You can see where we’re at in the Psalms by taking a look at the sidebar at left. You can also feel free to download the Reading Plan that we’re using. If it’s after July 1st, don’t feel like you’ve come too late to join in; start whenever, and share your thoughts and questions at any time!

If you’re making the commitment to work through this reading plan, I’d encourage you to use the subscribe feature in the right sidebar so that you can keep up with the ongoing conversation. You’ll also want to come back regularly to read others’  comments and post your own! Why not start by dropping a quick comment below to let us know that you’re in (you can click the word balloon at the top right of this post)–it’s always encouraging to know that we’re not journeying alone!

So, that’s what this site is intended to be; wondering what it isn’t?

Ps 64 > Lifeline or Weapon?

James 3:1-12 is perhaps one of the greatest biblical depictions of the power of the tongue. Some intense images are presented to underscore how impactful our words can be.

In reading Psalm 64, I find some similar sentiments, with the actions of the tongue of the wicked being contrasted with the voice of the righteous.

The child of God uses his voice to reach out for divine relationship (v.1), declare the acts of God (v.9), and sing His praises (v.10). There’s no mistaking the godly and Godward thrust.

But other human beings, equipped with the same anatomy, use their tongues “like a sword” and like arrows (v.3), shooting bitter words at their victims. They hold fast to, and strengthen themselves with, “the bad word” (v.5). Those that suffer at their hands are “they against whom was their tongue” (v.8). Wounding words aimed at their fellow man.

Psalm 64 is perhaps a little gracious, in that it presents these two groups of people as separate from one another, two camps who use their words and voices for very different purposes.

Sadly, I find it all too easy to drift personally from one to the other…my words quickly changing tone and direction and impact from good to bad (to worse), turning companions into victims.

And perhaps not heading Godward at all.

Verse 1 opens, “O God, hear my voice in my thoughts.” Am I sure I want Him to take special notice of what’s going on inside of me? It’s much easier for me to choose and to filter what gets shared and shown verbally. Do I want Him to get past my words and see the underlying reality, the state of my inward being?

Well, ready or not, here He comes.

“The righteous will rejoice and take refuge” in Him (v.10). Is this a command? A promise? Why does this identifying mark of being the people of God feel like a bit of a rebuke, a rubric against which to test my posture?

Is there rejoicing? Is there relief in the refuge-taking? What would my words sound like if so? What wouldn’t they sound like?

 

Ps 62:5 > Be Still My Soul

If you’ve ever attempted to sit in silence, still and quiet, you’ve probably encountered a certain degree of challenge. It hardly seems the most natural thing for us: to just sit there. Doing nothing.

In times of need or crisis, when we might find ourselves helpless and without useful action, we often tell ourselves, “But I have to do something!”

Where does that drivenness arise from? What is the root of that seemingly innate characteristic that insists we be people of action? Continue reading

Ps 61 > 4 Praising Hats

Many people have come across the writing of Edward de Bono on the notion of “Six Thinking Hats.” The idea, which is presented within many other paradigms as well (e.g. Myers-Briggs), is that we put ourselves in particular points of reference to consider various aspects of a question, decision, or topic, in order to ensure that we’ve addressed relevant factors which might lay outside of our normal patterns of thinking.

In Psalm 61, we get a model of “4 Praising Hats”—as the psalmist takes us through several aspects of the character of God, in order to ensure that our faith and our praise is equally well-rounded and our approach to God is comprehensive. Continue reading