Chapter-a-Day Psalm 127

The Embarrasment of Riches. Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? Psalm 127:2b (MSG)

I have been reading a weighty book that my wife gave me for my birthday. The Embarrassment of Riches by Simon Schama is a treatise on the Dutch culture. It investigates of how the little nation rose from medeival obscurity into the greatest economic power in the world in only two generations. Schama summarizes his own endeavor by saying that he wanted to find out what made the Dutch so, well, Dutch.

Being born to a Dutch father, I have been raised in what is known as the Dutch work ethic. The Dutch work hard. As I've been reading, our forefathers survived by raising their homeland out of the sea. By the sweat of their brow and the pumping of their windmills they tamed the ocean and made it do their bidding. Then they restlessly scoured the earth on their merchant ships and eventually drove the world's economy. My Dutch forebears brought their Dutch work ethic to America and scraped new life from the wild, untamed American prairie. The Dutch mantra could very well have come from Solomon: "Go to the ant, you sluggard, consider its' ways and be wise." If it's one thing I've been raised to appreciate, it's the value of hard work.

Raised in that obsessive work ethic, rest is easily seen as a vice – not a virtue on equal terms with work. It's easy to look at rest with secret suspicion and scorn. God is, however, adamant about the importance and value of rest. Isn't it interesting that working hard did not make the list of the ten commandments, but resting did?

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 126

Do it again, Daddy! And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. Psalm 126:4-6 (MSG)

On Sunday night we spent a lazy evening enjoying dinner and a visit from our friends. At one point in the evening the guys were wrestling around on the living room floor. I held my three-year-old playmate up by his ankles and dangled his head in the scruff of his daddy's neck. This illicited joyful laughter from my dangling friend, and when I lowered him back to the floor he immediately screamed, "Do it AGAIN!" So, we did it again…several times!

It's good to look back and remember what God has done. I believe it's important to recall specific instances when God answered our prayers, times when He gave us our heart's desire, and moments in our lives when blessings unlooked for and undeserved rained down upon us.

It reminds us that our Dad in heaven likes to bless His chidren. It gives us faith to say, "Do it again!"

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and KhayaL

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 125

Rock solid. Those who trust in God are like Zion Mountain: Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain you can always depend on. Psalm 125:1 (MSG)

Throughout God's message, He is described as a "solid rock" on which we can build our lives and in which we can find shelter from the storm. I found it interesting that the lyric of this song speaks of those who trust in God as rock solid. That mean I and my life the rock-solid mountain.

It prompts me to ask myself this morning: "Am I really "rock solid" or if my life is sand that shifts with every breath of wind and moves with every crashing wave?" I guess lies in where I built my house.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and gustty

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 125

Rock solid. Those who trust in God are like Zion Mountain: Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain you can always depend on. Psalm 125:1 (MSG)

Throughout God's message, He is described as a "solid rock" on which we can build our lives and in which we can find shelter from the storm. I found it interesting that the lyric of this song speaks of those who trust in God as rock solid. That mean I and my life the rock-solid mountain.

It prompts me to ask myself this morning: "Am I really "rock solid" or if my life is sand that shifts with every breath of wind and moves with every crashing wave?" I guess lies in where I built my house.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and gustty

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 124

Abandonment Oh, blessed be God! He didn't go off and leave us. Psalm 124:6 (MSG)

The fear of abandonment is such a huge anxiety for many of us. I look back now on my life relationships and see how fear of being rejected played Stage Manager to many of the key relational roles of my life. It's hard to play your role well when that fear is hidden in the wings producing all sorts of irrational anxieties.

How interesting that God consistently reminds us of his stalwart faithfulness. Jesus repeatedly reminded His followers that He would never leave them or forsake them.

I've often heard it said that our experiences with human relationships affect the way we see and perceive God. I know that's true. I tend to believe, however, that God would prefer the opposite to be true; that our relationship with Him would positively affect the way we relate to others.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and Rickydavid

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 123

Road Trip Tunes. I look to you, heaven-dwelling God, look up to you for help. Psalm 123:1 (MSG)

What is a road trip without tunes? As a kid, I can remember trying to get a decent station on the Delco AM radio in the car, and then the luxury of having Simon and Garfunkel on the 8-Track! Then there were the sing-alongs. "One-Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall" seemed to pass a lot of time (and drive the adults crazy) and road trips with Grandma V would always include choruses of "Jimmy Crack Corn."

The liner notes for this short song calls it a "song of ascents" or "a pilgrim's song." It was written as a tune for the road. As it happens, Wendy and I have a little early morning road trip this morning (and I have my iPod ready to roll) and this opening lyric happens to coincide with the prayer of our hearts as we go.

I love synchronicity.

Creative Commons graphic courtesy of Flickr and Amanda Woodward