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Posts Tagged ‘trust God’


Friday, January 15, 2021

Psalm 119:17-24

images[4]Gimel

I am a sojourner in the land; do not hide your commands from me.

Traveling, wandering, seeking, searching, always on the move.

We look for signs and indicators. We ask for affirmation and assurance.

God says: You are always asking for clarity and this is fine but I also want you to trust me. I know that my prophet Jeremiah gives you words with which to rebuke me: “You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped”. (Jeremiah 20:7) But I never trick you; rather, I call. I do not deceive you; I ask that you trust me. I do not steer you wrongly; although at times you fear that I do. I hide nothing from you and I love you more than you imagine. You want a map of all that is to come and all that is to take place but this information is not as useful as you might believe. Rather than ask me for details, dates, times and places . . . ask me to accompany you. This I do out of sheer love for you. There is nothing we cannot do together. Of this you may be assured. In this you may be affirmed. This you may trust. Rely on me always.

We too often allow our fear of life’s enormity to overshadow our reliance on God’s love. We take ourselves too seriously and believe ourselves omnipotent and all-knowing. As we journey through life we need none of the artificial safety nets we scramble to assemble. All we need is an ear well-tuned to God.

Today we reflect on the third lesson in Psalm 119. It is God’s simple invitation to cease our search for life’s roadmap and to instead trust God’s providence and care. Tomorrow, Daleth.

How long, Lord?  Will you utterly forget me? (Psalm 13:1)

And God replies: I am here beside you where I have always been. 


To learn more about the importance of the third Hebrew letter Gimel, click on the word or the image above, or go to: http://houseofjoseph.net/alef-bet_download_page.htm and http://www.hebrewtoday.com/content/hebrew-alphabet-letter-gimel-%D7%92

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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Psalm-69-14[1]Psalm 69:2-3

Great Distress

Save me, O God, for the waters have reached my neck.  I have sunk into the mire of the deep, where there is no foothold. I have gone down to the watery depths; the flood overwhelms me.

Anyone who has stepped into murky waters at land’s edge will know the sensation of mud oozing between toes. It does not take much imagination to conjure up the feeling of water rising slowly to envelope us. Death by drowning overtakes the lungs, strangling any cry for help.

God says: The chaos and deception of the world have frightened you; but remember that I am always with you. The dragging darkness threatens you; but keep in mind that I guide and protect you. The feelings of loss and desperation weigh you down, robbing you of your natural buoyancy and positive outlook. Turn to me when the world sweeps over you. Rely on me when darkness becomes too heavy. Trust me when you are at your last ounce of energy and hope. When great distress paralyzes you and saps your very breath, allow me to breathe for you. I have plumbed the breadth and depths of the ocean; I know the boggy reed beds where you have lost your way. Lift your eyes and heart and hopes to me. And I will pull you out of your great distress. 

We recognize that we too often rely on self rather than God. Let us determine today that it will be God’s name we call upon when shadowy depths bring us great distress.


Image from: http://www.iwantcovers.com/psalm-6914/

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Monday, August 31, 2020

Cornwall, England: Glendurgan Gardens

Cornwall, England: Glendurgan Gardens

Proverbs 3:5-8

In All Ways

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; in all your ways be mindful of God, and God will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil; this will mean health for your flesh and vigor for your bones.

We need not over-simplify or over-complicate our relationship with God. The formula for eternal success is simple: trust God, rely on God’s wisdom, practice humility, avoid what we know to be wrong, and love God with all that we have and all that we are. This brings us peace and energy. This brings us health and a wealth that cannot be measured.

God says: I know that when you are frightened or weary or confused you want to rely solely on your own resources and yet even your greatest stores have limits. I am limitless. I know that when you are happy, relaxed and content you forget to invite me into your celebration and yet your joy is incomplete if you forget me. I want to accompany you in your sorrow; I want to join you in your delight. Trust in me. You need no other strength. Believe in me. You need no other god. My strength and serenity have unbounded depth and breadth and height. My love knows no bounds. Your body, heart, mind and soul will rest well when they rest in me.

In all ways we are to be mindful of God for what we now see as crooked we will then see as straight. In all ways we are to trust God for what we now experience as a labyrinth of sorrow we will come to know as the Kingdom of God. In all ways let us turn to God.


Image from: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/glendurgan-maze-horticulture-garden

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Saturday. August 15, 2020

imagesCAQVW99G

Joshua 24:1

God’s Grace

I gave you a land which you had not tilled and cities which you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.

We become accustomed to the daily blessings we receive from God and ask why God has not given us more.

God says: I see your daily going out and return and I cannot bear to be without you; and so I accompany you. I hear your prayers and petitions and I cannot bear to deny you; and so I give you all those gifts I know will enrich your life and strengthen your soul. I know your sorrow and your joy; and so I both grieve and celebrate with you. I give you Living Water to slack your thirst, vineyards and olive groves to strengthen your body. And grace you with my Spirit to console and heal you. I walk with you each day and never leave your side. Trust me to sustain you in your time of need. Include me in your festivals when you celebrate the goodness of life.

We curse the darkness and take the light for granted. We enjoy the comforts of a modern life and become impatient when they are withdrawn for a short time. We forget that God chooses to live with us and forget to live with God. As we search for the best way forward during the pandemic we share, let us remember God’s grace and gifts today and all days.


For more on how God’s Grace moves in our loves, click on the image above or go to: http://thomasg1971.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-does-grace-of-god-mean.html

A re-post from August 22, 2013.

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Monday, February 17, 2013

Baruch 6Little Gods 

Worshiping the Golden Calf

Nicolas Pouisson: The Adoration of the Golden Calf

Baruch, the prophet Jeremiah’s faithful secretary, paints a clear contrast for us between false, little gods and the one, true and living God; he leaves us with no doubt that pagan deities are nothing more than air while God is good and God is great.  As useless as one’s broken tools are their gods, set up in their houses; their eyes are full of dust from those who enter.  If we take time today we might discover where we have placed our little gods whom we tend to night and day.  And we might also consider how and when and why we tend to our relationship with the Living God . . . and all that our God has done for us even during those times when we allow ourselves to be lured away.

They are wooden, gilded and silvered; they will later be known for frauds.  To all peoples and to all kings it will be clear that they are not gods, but human handiwork; and that God’s work is not in them.  Yet we slide into easy comfort as we worship fashions that ebb and flow, sports figures who bring home temporary trophies, and television or Hollywood personalities who sap our time and energy by drawing us in to their tragedies and triumphs.

Despite the gold that covers them for adornment, unless someone wipes away the corrosion, they do not shine; nor did they feel anything when they were molded. 

The petty gods of our addictions, the small, little gods of our vain ambitions, the trivial gods of our toxic relationships hold sway over us as we tend to them more than we tend to the people in our lives.

If they fall to the ground the worshipers must raise them up.  They neither move of themselves if one sets them upright, nor come upright if they fall; but one puts gifts beside them as beside the dead.

These tiny and silly gods must be cared for by those in the household or they wither and decay.  They do not give life, they do not revive the dead, and they do not encourage the living.

How then can one not know that these are no-gods, which do not save themselves either from war or disaster?

Why do we allow these trifling and senseless gods into our lives?  Why do we tend to these meaningless gods who must be served and cosseted?  They do not save, they do not rescue, and they do not transform.

The Gospel reading on this First Sunday in the Lenten season retells the story of Satan’s attempt to lure Jesus to himself and way from God.  We watch Jesus deftly manage the skilled arguments by resting in the knowing that God is all and that God alone is enough.  Why can we not rest in this same knowledge?

Jesus is tired and hungry from his fast in the desert and Satan believes him an easy target, but in the end Jesus relies on God alone.  Why cannot we rely on this one true source of life?

Even after Jesus dispatches Satan we read: When the devil had finished every temptation, departed from him for a time.  We must keep watch against these little daily assaults.  We must check in constantly with God who redeems and saves.

And so we pray . . .

Good and generous God, keep our hands away from our broken and useless tools and hold us in your own steady hands. Help us to see beneath the gilding and artifice to the emptiness inside our little gods.  Guide us in seeing that our futile gods cause us too much work and too much anguish.  Call us to see that you serve us more than we can ever serve you. Continue to keep us from the dark world of wars and disaster.  And keep us always in your light. Amen. 


Adapted from a post written on February 17, 2013.

The Book of Baruch was written during the Maccabean era and for this reason is not always included in all versions of the Bible and some versions, while they do contain the letter of Jeremiah’s secretary, do not include the last chapter. Click on the scripture link above to explore this marvelous closing to Baruch’s letter. For more on Baruchvisit: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2006604 

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_calf

To read more about Matthew’s story of Satan and Jesus, see The Temptations page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-temptations/

To read a reflection on Luke’s version of this story, see The Test post on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2012/01/03/the-test/

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2 Samuel 6: Michal

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tissot: Michal Despises David

Yesterday we spent time with the opening portion of this chapter; today we focus on the rest of the story.  Just as we are given an opportunity to see the realities of life in the story of Uzzah, we are given the chance to see our own reality in the story of Michal.

It has been noted that Michal is the only woman in scripture described as loving a man who does not love her in return.  As with many women in scripture she is used by a pawn. In this case it is her father and husband who exploit Michal . . . the two men closest to her . . . the two men charged with her protection.  Again as a child I saw her circumstances as out of her own control and I saw her life as one of deepest betrayal.  As with the tale of Uzzah, we turn to commentary to ask why in 1 Samuel 19 to find that David and Michal had pagan statues in their household and we might nod smugly and knowingly and comment that perhaps she suffered for bringing idol-worship into her home.  If we spend time reading the scattered fragments of Michal’s story we pull together the threads of her life.  As a child I saw her as a victim; as an adult I understand that there are far too many circumstances beyond Michal’s control and I watch as she sees all her dreams melt away into nothing.  I begin to understand how her passion becomes loathing.

As we grow in God’s love begin to understand that with mercy there are no bounds; we see that justice is best delivered in God’s time and according to God’s plan; we know that love carries with it the dark potential to become great hatred unless it is founded in God.  As with the story of Uzzah yesterday, we see that life defies description.  Again we learn that what looks correct may not always be correct.  And we feel the full force of the lesson that we cannot make events occur nor can we prevent circumstances from overtaking us.  We can rest only in the surety that God is in us, that we are in God, and that our relationship with God is the only eternal and permanent promise that matters.

Uzzah, Michal and David teach us much.  Their stories might embolden or frighten us.  Their circumstances may cheer us or depress us.  Their lives may dissolve or transform us.  But in all of this, as we examine the lives of Uzzah, Michal and David . . . we have much to think about today.


A re-post from October 15, 2012.

Image from: https://www.artbible.info/art/large/717.html

To learn more about Michal and to put her story together, go to: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/michal-bible or http://www.alabaster-jars.com/biblewomen-m.html or http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/Women-Of-The-Bible/a/021511-CW-Michal.htm

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2 Samuel 6: Part I: Uzzah

Monday, November 4, 2019

In several places, this chapter calls us to pause for reflection: We watch as Uzzah is struck down by the Lord, and we witness the turning of Michal’s love for her husband David turn to hatred.  Commentary will guide us through these puzzles but we are left with the lingering thought that there are always many ways to read the story of David.

We know that David’s life is full of ups and downs – just like our own.  We know that David feels the call of God and the call of the world – just like our own.  And we know that David is both strong and vulnerable – just as are we.  We might learn something about ourselves once we spend time with this story today.

Scholars explain the punishment of Uzzah saying that he had become too familiar with the ark since it had remained in his father’s house for some time.  Others say that he did not trust the Lord to rescue his own dwelling place, the Ark.  Some say that we must learn from this incident that we are to never question the clear authority of God.  And yet others say that we are to learn that we must practice acting in due time, listening for God’s call, and living in God’s plan.

I remember hearing this story as a child and thinking that it may have been possible that Uzzah had misunderstood God.  Perhaps he thought God asked him to reach out to steady the ark when in fact he had said that Uzzah ought not touch the cart.  In my child’s mind the world was black and white: we do what our elders tell us and all goes well.  In my adult life I know that life is much more complicated than this.  As we grown in God we learn that obeying rules does not keep us safe.  We discover that life does not follow guidelines and that it defies logic.  We understand that we must be grateful for all that goes well; we know that there are no guarantees; and we see that the innocent will often suffer unjustly.  We come to understand that rules and laws do not save us . . . that God is the only safety net we can trust.

David and Uzzah teach us all of this today when we allow this story to speak to us.


A re-post from October 14, 2012.

For more on Uzzah, click on the image above or go to: http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/death-and-the-dance-david-uzzah-and-the-ark-robert-leroe-sermon-on-gods-holiness-48196.asp and http://www.lookingfortigger.com/2012/06/12/the-uzzah-incident/

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Mark 15: Sacrifice

Sunday, August 18, 2019

St. James

Crucifixion.  We return to Mark today to read and reflect on the crucifixion of our Lord, our God who came to live and walk among us.  Who came to be one of us . . . so that we might be one with him.

This past Wednesday we celebrated the feast of Saint James, the brother of John the Beloved Apostle.  James was executed by beheading as ordered by Herod sometime around the year 42; today he is the patron saint of Spain.  James answered the call he heard.  James took of the cup offered by Christ and became one of the early martyrs who chose to die in this life in order that he follow Christ both in this world and the next.

Today’s Gospel repeats the story we know so well of the mother of James and John asking Jesus to place her sons – the sons of Zebedee whom Jesus nicknamed Boanerges (The Sons of Thunder) – at his right and left once the kingdom about which he spoke had arrived.  Her sons were present with Peter at the raising of Jarius’ daughter, at the transfiguration and in Gethsemane.  They followed Jesus during his ministry and they certainly deserved special recognition in their mother’s eyes.  I like Jesus’ reply: that these are the decisions best made by the Father.

This message from the Gospel is what reminds me that when things are not going as I see best for most . . . I must remember that just as the Son of God defers to the Creator on matters such as these . . . so ought I.

Jesus suffered torture and crucifixion as an act of redemptive, salvific love.  If we wish to take up this same cup, we must be willing to enter into the sacrifice.  We do this best when we trust God, trust Jesus, trust the Holy Spirit.  Our strength and our true power as co-redeemers with Christ lie in our trust . . . trust that our own suffering has value . . . trust that our own worth is seen by God and will be seen by all . . . trust that we are delivered through and with and in Christ.

From MAGNIFICAT earlier this week: Let us pray in the name of all who are suffering in our day the pain of the cross: Turn your ear to us; hear our words!

Lord, you are the Justice of God, but you were condemned as a criminal: strengthen in forgiveness those who are unjustly condemned.  Turn your ear to us; hear our words!

Lord, you are the truth of God: deliver from harm all those who are threatened by lies. Turn your ear to us; hear our words!

Lord, you are the love of God made visible: save all those who are menaced by hatred, cruelty, and abuse. Turn your ear to us; hear our words!

James, John, Mary Magdalene and the other apostles followed Jesus . . . trusting all that he had revealed to them.  Christ is physically present to us in the people he sends to us and in The Word we read each day.  Let us prepare to take up the Cup of Sacrifice with courage and joy in our hearts.


Written on July 25, 2008 on posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://thetentofthiskingdom.blogspot.com/2007/07/june-25-st-james-apostle.html

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. July (2008): 129-130. Print.  

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Psalm 118:8-9: Seeking Safety

Friday, July 12, 2012

Psalm 118:8-9It is better to take refuge in the Lord than in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

This is something we often forget because people are so easy to see and God is unseen with the human eye.  And so we must watch for God carefully.

God says: I know that you love me and I also know that you are easily frightened.  I understand that you look for a power base and cling to it, snuggle up to it.  This feels safe to you but remember: all people die and come to me, whether they be princes or serfs.  While you must form union with the people who make up your world, and you may even trust the faithful who clearly follow me, you must always put your final and ultimate trust in me.  I am the only true, final, all-powerful and everlasting refuge.  If you seek sanctuary, seek me.  If you seek safety, seek me.  If you seek surety, seek me . . . and no other.  I alone can save.  I alone love you this much.

May we know God as a refuge from all fears.


Image from: http://businesscoachingblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/spiritual-ceo-part-3-of-4-certainty-of.html

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