Taking Stock

You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
    length of days, for ever and ever. Psalm 21:2-4

David seems to be speaking in the third person here (talking about himself but not saying it blatantly), and in his own way praising the Lord for what’s He’s given him. “This is what I asked for; this is what you gave me.” He’s taking stock of things in his life.

Every so often we sing the song “Count your blessings” in church. It’s a great little song and a reminder of what’s important. Most of the times, it’s the little things that matter: the kind words, the smile of a loved one, the inexpensive but thoughtful gift, the note card in the mail, the laughter and the tears.

It’s that time again, time to take stock of our situation.

I appreciate those who have written and encouraged me throughout the course of this blog. Today’s is the 2000th consecutive daily post! It’s been a fun ride thus far, and I believe we’ve only covered a small portion of the Bible.

Count your blessings, name them one by one.

Count your blessings see what God has done

Count your blessings, name them one by one

Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

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Joy and Victories

The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give! Psalm 21:1

In the midst of David’s battles, he always had time to acknowledge the Lord and the strength He provided. The battles we face are very different than what David faced, though I suspect we face the same spiritual battles: ungratefulness, apathy, frustrations when he wasn’t going from victory to victory, hopelessness, and despair to name a few. I’m sure he had “where are you, God?” moments just like we do.

One thing to note, though, in this passage is that David recognized his victories and was joyful about it. Do you recognize your victories when they occur or are they just another hurdle you jumped to get through the day? I believe that recognizing victories when we see them is more than half the battle. The other part to the equation is what you do with the victory when you see it.

Now, in reality, that “joy” may just be a smile, but enough smiles throughout the day because of the little victories will go a long way to producing the inner peace and joy we so desire.

Then, like King David, you can truly rejoice at the number of victories He’s handed you.

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Chariot, Horses, Missiles, and Drones

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7

It’s quite easy when you are the world’s “superpower” to think that it was your might, strength, brilliance, and superior diplomacy that got you where you now are.

Hardly. (One could easily rethink that opinion after seeing some of the short-sighted legislation coming out Washington these days)

But, throughout my entire lifetime, the United States has been on top economically, militarily, and in basic freedoms. But for too long, we have relied on our military might to speak for us.

As China and Russia begin their arms buildup, that military “superiority” is starting to be threatened. As a nation we will no longer be able to rely on that strength to speak on our behalf.

The truth is, though, it was foolish of us to rely on that in the first place. As a semi God-fearing nation, we have enjoyed prosperity and strength as the Lord has given. I personally think it has to do with the U.S. relationship with Israel.

As our fear of God has waned, our faith in our weapons systems has grown. The greatest armies of the world have fallen, not because they weren’t strong, but because they trusted in their own power and strength, and not at all in God. They were proud and arrogant, and believed they were invincible.

Wherever you are, pray for your nation’s leaders. Pray that God would open their eyes to see truth when it’s obvious, and to do the right thing for the good of the people and not just to garner votes at the expense of the people.

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Today and Tomorrow

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Too often we – meaning I – focus on the negative and forget that the Christian life is about pleasing One and only One. It’s not more complicated than that as much as we try to make it so. Sure we do and love and serve and care and teach and preach and help and lead, but in the end, it’s about pleasing Him.

This is our prayer for today and a prayer for tomorrow, and every day hereafter.

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Baring the Soul

But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression. Psalm 19:12-13

King David realizes that we are complex people, that we have secrets and faults that we don’t want other people to know about, even though God knows all of those secrets. He also realizes the difference between “willful” and other sin. Willful seems to be where we know we are about to sin but sin anyway. David also recognizes that sin has the potential of ruling over him. Interesting.

This is one of those honest prayers of David, where he bares part of his soul to God but for all of us to see as well. It’s certainly the openness we should be striving for, because quite frankly, God knows the heart better than we ourselves know it.

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