First Friday – Psalm 61

Mountains and Rivers 397

Psalm 61:1-4

Hear my cry, O God,

listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to You,

I call as my heart grows faint;

lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been my refuge,

a strong tower against the foe,

I long to dwell in your tent forever

and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

     

If you are new to the blog, the first Friday of every month, I post a couple of faith based items. Later tonight I’ll post another segment of The Last People.

The Psalms have been loved by countless people, of different faiths, each seeking a connection to the Creator. In these verses, the Psalmist is expressing is desire to be close to God. He has been struggling, and he asking the Creator, for refuge, or for safety.

There are two beautiful illustrations here of God giving refuge. One is the rock that is higher than I. But what does this mean? When you are up on the high rock, you can see what’s going on in the valley. The battle is probably raging below, in the valley, but on this rock, there is rest and safety, and like I said, a greater vision.

The other illustration is being under His wings. Wow, imagine that kind of protection! We can seek the shelter of the Most High! So cool.

Be blessed today and every day!

I wish you peace.

     

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Bible quotation from the New International Version

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Beauty of a Sunday

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A Prose Poem

The problem with getting older, is that you’ve heard every sermon, or you think you have.

I didn’t learn faith in a church, the woods taught me, when I was young, showed me there was something greater. I saw the church filled with people, but their hearts were not still.

Later, the wooden benches were hard, difficult sermons, long sermons, with harsh words. Railing against the Pope, or President Obama. I was confused, and my heart grew sick.

Healing for me came, in the stained glass, the space. Certainly in the peace, and in the beauty of faith. Now the sermons are shorter, and the words are decorated with love. His presence. What can we give to others?

All of this reminding me of the creation, the woods, the rivers, the mountains, and the beauty of life.

My heart is full now, and contented.

And in the late afternoon, Sundays were made, for napping.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People on Earth IX – Liquid Gold

Oceans 813

There were times like this, where it made no difference she was a bio-chemist, or that he had been a 3rd year med student. It didn’t matter that she was from Africa, or that he was white, with red hair, that she was very tall, and he was not. All that mattered was that they were madly in love with each other. She snuggled closer and laid her head on his bare chest. She could hear his heartbeat in her ear, as he lay lightly snoring.

For weeks before the wedding, they both knew it was time. There was a certain way they both looked at each other, the way he touched her face, the way she rubbed his back. It was the way their lips searched, and found each other. There was a yearning and longing for each other.

And now, as he slept, they held one another. He was dreaming of the wedding again. Picturing in his mind the mountain, and how they made their vows to one another, kneeling, facing each other. They had promised to love each other, and to be faithful, even if they did find other people alive. Miriam had been worried about polygamy, so they had written vows, to only have one spouse, unless they were so injured, from brain damage, there was no choice.

They had also worked out all the details about faith, and placed those promises in their vows. They promised most of all, to love and respect each other. She would say and sing prayers on Friday nights, lighting the Sabbath candles, like her mother had done, and he would share with his family about the Messiah. That was all they ever needed. They didn’t know it at the time, but years in the future, this would still be an important part of their family life. They also promised to never part, during the difficult times.

But that was two days ago, and now as Miriam lay there, on his chest, she thanked God for her husband. She had never met a man so gentle, and yet so strong, at the same time. Tears began to flow, down her cheeks, and on to his chest. She quietly wiped her tears, and began singing softly in Amharic. It was a love song she had been teaching Jeremiah, in her language. In English the words go like this:

As long as there are rocks in the ground and fish in the sea,

You will always be, you will always be, my Love,

As long as the sun sets, on the water, making liquid gold,

You will always be, you will always be, my Love.

Jeremiah heard her singing, and stirred. He was at the part in his dream, where they had exchanged bracelets and placed them on each other’s wrists (instead of rings). She placed a leather one on his wrist with beautiful Hebrew letters from the Aaronic benediction……..  in English the translation was, “The Lord bless you, and keep you….” And the bracelet he placed on her wrist, was gold, and had belonged to his Great, Great Grandmother. She had received it as a gift, before the family emigrated from Holland, and it had been in the family ever since.

Miriam’s voice was unmistakable, and he awoke smiling. He began hearing the words in Amharic…….. “As long as the sun sets on the water, making liquid gold,” He joined in, and in perfect Amharic, they both sang……… “You will always be, you will always be,……..my Love…….”

And their lips found each other, once again……

To be continued.

 

 

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

First Friday – Psalm 91

Mountains and Rivers 393

Psalm 91: 1-4

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.’

Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare,

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His feathers,

and under His wings you will find refuge;

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

 

These verses are some of my favorites. The whole Psalm is filled with strength giving words. One thing to remember about the Psalms, is that they were actually songs, and had music with them. I would love to hear the music of the Psalms, that once played!

Clearly the Psalmist is encouraging us to have the Almighty, the Creator, as our shelter. It is a choice, and has always been a choice. When we do choose to trust, He helps and strengthens us. I love the poetry of being covered with His feathers! By the way, a fowler is one who catches birds, and the connotation about the fowler is very negative, so the Psalmist can illustrate the Creator protecting us.

So what about people that have no faith? Is God only concerned about people that believe in Him? No of course not. Although these verses are meant to strengthen and encourage, those that believe in Him, He cares about each one of us!

Think of it this way: Every time I wake up, that is God blessing me, and protecting me. Whenever I cross a street, or drive my car, and don’t get killed, that is God blessing me and protecting me. These illustrations do not depend on my faith. We all live every day. So what about when bad things do happen?

We’ve all seen innocent people suffer. There are times when it just does not make sense. But I want to trust in Him even during the terrible times, even when I do not understand. That’s where faith comes in. I may not ever understand, but these verses are meant to encourage us that there is an All Powerful, the One Who is Almighty, and that it is good to be in His care. When we are in His shelter, we can find rest. I know this is true, from personal experiences in my own life.

Note: The best book I have seen about suffering, is by C.S. Lewis, called the “Problem of Pain”.

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Bible quote from the New International Version

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

First Friday – Touch the Sky

It’s the first Friday of the month! The experiment last week with the First Friday idea went very well. So here is some beautiful, faith based music. Tonight I plan to post something from the Psalms. This is a once a month feature.

I like this group, and I love this song. In this version of it there is no audience except us. They are in a cafe and it reminds me of some friends getting together, playing some music. There are no rock stars here. This song is very rich with meaning. On the one hand it is mellow, but it is also inspirational, especially towards the end. The words are incredible poetry, and are about connecting to the Creator through prayer.

Here are some of the lyrics:

My heart beating,

my soul breathing,

I found my life,

when I layed it down,

upward falling,

spirit soaring,

I touch the sky,

when my knees hit the ground.

Have a great weekend!

Peace.

Commentary © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

video from youtube, music by Hillsong United

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

First Fridays – A Psalm

Psalm 42: 1-5

As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night,

while men say to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”

These things I remember

as I pour out my soul:

how I used to go with the multitude,

leading the procession to the house of God,

with shouts of joy and thanksgiving

among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

 

Here the Psalmist expresses to us how he is searching for hope. He is going through a very tough time, or did just recently, and he is saying that he first needs to seek some solitude. He realizes, that he needs some light to break through. There is actually a dialogue going on within, as he examines his thoughts. More importantly he recognizes that he is struggling internally, and he acknowledges his pain, and his lack of trusting, the Almighty.

It wasn’t always like that. At one time he was filled with faith, and went to celebrate with everyone else. It seems as though he is remembering, what he used to be like, in order to encourage himself. His mind is saying, “Everything is going to be alright”, and yet his heart is having trouble believing it. This is expressed in the questions he asks. “Why are you downcast, O my soul?”

I’ve been there a time or two! The encouragement here, is don’t let problems in this life get you down. Keep going strong, keep looking up, and trust the Creator. He knows what you are going through.

 

Be blessed, have a great weekend!

Peace.

 

Commentary © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Bible verses from the New International Version

video from youtube

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Old Church House

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They still use the old church house,

down at the harbor, but only,

for special occasions, weddings,

and funerals.

A young man from Portugal,

came looking for faith,

but he was guided to the museum,

where it was stored,

looking pretty for tourists,

and photography.

He wondered, if faith would ever,

come back again,

but everyone went to sleep,

no one cared.

He decided he would return,

if he ever needed,

a wedding,

or a funeral.

 

 

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone and peace!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”