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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What's around the bend?
What's around the bend?
(From our Sunday afternoon walk)

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"I Will Look Up"
"Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto Thee will I pray. My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up" (Psalm 5:1-3).

Incredibly, it's already the twenty-second of May.  One of the increasing observations as we age is being much more aware of how rapidly life passes or as we often say, "How time flies."  As one frog said to another, "Time's fun when you're having flies."
Leon L. Bean, the founder of the L.L. Bean company not surprisingly enjoyed the outdoors.  He also had a sense of humor. A rule posted in one of his hunting camps in the wilderness of northern Maine was "If you get lost, come straight back to camp." 

Spiritually we do need direction!  This morning I got a very early start, traveling across the county at 5:30 straight into a beautiful sunrise. As I drove along I had a song on my heart based on Psalm 5.  Many years ago as young Christians Brooksyne and I memorized this portion of Scripture assisted by the melody of the song. I suppose that's what prompted today's message.

Today I want to focus on the phrase in the daily text, "O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."  More specifically let's consider simply the Psalmist's directive, "I… will look up."  This speaks of a necessary, willful, upward outlook in life. Upon awakening each day we do well to make this our intentional focus.  It's easy to get lost and disoriented in the course of the day's activities, planned or otherwise.  There are many unknowns. There are scores of voices beckoning us. There are questions about what's around the next bend.
As we look up and focus on God, may we hear His voice clearly state, "This is the way, walk in it."
In the Psalm 5 song online version a stanza has been added that I do not recall from the original song from some twenty-five years ago:

Look up, hold your head high,
Come before the throne with confidence,
You can hold your head up high,
Come with boldness, come with confidence,
Your head held high, your heart bowed down
Come with confidence to worship the Lord,
For He is worthy, He is worthy!

Yes, indeed we hold our head high because we approach the throne of grace with confidence.  But we also bow our hearts in humility as humble servants of Almighty God!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Lord, we come with humbleness before Your great throne and declare You to be the King of kings and Lord of lords.  You rule the universe and You rule the throne of my heart.   I pray for my spirit to be subject to Your faithful leading since You have already taught and exemplified all that is good. You require me to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with You, my God.  May I be faithful to Your clear instruction.  Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: Psalm 5 is the passage of Scripture that often brings me into an attitude of prayer as I call on the Father to hear my prayers during my time of meditation each morning.

I am very troubled in my spirit when I think of this very meaningful word, meditation, and how popular culture has hijacked its original Biblical meaning.  At the heart of yoga and other eastern religions people are strongly compelled to "meditate" but never are the meditations directed toward a holy God.  It is generally a chant, a visual prompting, or other origins devised by man rather than a time of directing our thoughts and prayers to God who desires to have intimate fellowship with His creation. 
As I sat in an office waiting room yesterday I picked up three magazines (one was a medical journal, the others were popular women's magazines.)  Each magazine had a section about the value of meditation, all based on eastern religion.  Not even one line was devoted to those of us who choose to direct our prayers (meditation) to our holy God.  Dear friends, be very careful and extremely discerning in the materials you read no matter the source, as our land is more and more diverse culturally and false religions are finding acceptance and being endorsed by many groups. 

Here's the online audio version of the song based on Psalm 5 we have been listening to. (Listen to audio mp3)

 Bearded tongue Iris
Bearded Tongue Iris in its prime!

Finally today: When we lived in New England we really enjoyed stopping by the L.L. Bean flagship store
in Freeport Maine which is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Quiz of the day:
What was Leon Bean's middle name?

Personal Ministry Update

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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