Sunday, March 15, 2020

Psalm 91

*As I personalize this Psalm, I am going to include a paragraph of insights shared by my pastor today, 03/15/2020, at the end.

  1. I, Leigh, will dwell in the secret place of the Most High; I will abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
  2. I will say of my Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust.
  3. Surely, He will deliver me from the snare of my fowler and from the destructive pestilence (literally, death of destruction).
  4. He will cover me with His feathers and under His wings (representative of the tallit or prayer shawl, it speaks of intimacy with the Lord) will I abide; His truth will be my shield and buckler (a buckler is a large shield which protects from three sides).
  5. I will not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,
  6. nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday.
  7. A thousand will fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, but it will not come near me.
  8. I will only see the just rewards of the wicked with my eyes.
  9. Because I have chosen to make the Lord Most High, who is my refuge, my dwelling place … the place where I will live forever.
  10. In doing so, no evil will befall me, neither will any plague be able to come near my home.
  11. For He gives His angels charge over me, to keep me in the Way.
  12. They will bear me up in the palms of their hands so that my feet are kept from being cut upon any stone (This stone is a chiseled stone, cut by men. It represents false, man-made gods).
  13. Because of this provided safety I can walk on the lion and the adder: I can trample the young lion and the serpent beneath my feet.
  14. In all of this God says, “because Leigh has set her love on Me, I will deliver her. I will set her on My high places because she knows My name.
  15. Leigh will call on Me and I will answer her. I AM with her in trouble. I will deliver her and honor her.
  16. With long life I will satisfy her and show her My Salvation.

To dwell within the secret place of the Lord is to live with Him intimately. IT is a “close quarters” dwelling … to live within His arm's length so that He can set His hands upon our head. When the Lord sets His left hand upon our head, He covers us with anointing and His protection. When He sets His right hand upon our head, He covers us with His power … His authority. FYI: this "covering only works while we stay within arm's length He who is doing the covering.  It sounds to me like this “secret place of the Most High” is a place of His grace. In 2 Peter 3:18, we are told to grow in His grace, how better to do this than to dwell within His secret place in a life of total intimacy with the King of kings.

To dwell therein is a choice that we must make. For we have to leave behind everything that would try to separate us from the Lord and His love. And we must enter in with complete and sincere humility. We must place everything at His feet … all of who we are and all of who we ever will or could be, placing all of our cares and trust in Him.

For that place of intimacy with the Lord is an all-consuming fire that burns away all of our impurities and prepares us for total immersion in Him; which is our life in Him for all eternity.

So come, dwell in the secret place of the Most High God and rest within His presence!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Psalms 119:11

I have harbored Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.*

*A Contemporary Translation of the Hebrew.

As I read this verse during my personal devotions this morning, I was impressed by the Lord the reality of this verse.

We all have learned that a harbor is a safe inlet of an ocean or a sea where a ship may lay anchor and wait out a storm, right? It seems that David is saying to the Lord that he has safely stowed God's word within his heart ... But what is he was actually saying that he has anchored his heart within God's word? 
safely hiding it within God, Himself? For we learn from the book of John that God's Word was God Himself written within the Scroll of the Torah.

So, have you harbored your heart within the safety of God's Word ... within God Himself for all of time? I am learning more each day about how I can do this with my heart ... with my very life. For, I want to be found safely harbored in the Lord when He returns at the end of time! Don't you?


Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Psalm of Mary, Mother of Jesus - as Leigh Hears It

The Magnificat!

Luke 1:46-55

Not all of Israel's Psalms are found in the book of Psalms. There are some throughout the books of the Bible. This Psalm is found in the book of Luke. It was sung by Mary to her cousin Elizabeth when John the Baptist was still in utero and leaped for joy at Mary's calling when she visited them.


Mary, singing from her heart of hearts:

Deep within my soul, I celebrate God's glory, 

and my spirit rejoices in God, My Savior.
For He has seen where I live, in all of my lowliness
and humility:
and yet, because of His mighty acts, 
I will forever be proclaimed as blessed. Therefore, I will ever praise His name, giving Him all the glory and honor He is due.

May His mercy fall on all who fear,
honor and respect Him throughout eternity.
For He has shown His dominion over all
on earth by scattering those whose innermost
thoughts are filled with pride;
even those who rule from their lofty seats 
has He brought low.
He has lifted up the humble,
raising them from their humility.
He has filled the hungry in body and soul
with every good thing.
But the rich - those who seem satisfied
in body and soul - has He sent away empty-handed.

Yes, God has embraced Israel once more,
for He has remembered His mercy - 
His loving kindness - and His promised pardon 
to Abraham and his descendants throughout all time.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Psalms Thirty One, verses 14-24

Lord, I trust in You; I have said repeatedly, "You alone are my God." All the days of my life are in Your hands; deliver me from those who would pursue me, from the very hands of all my enemies. Shine Your face on me, Your servant; with Your unfailing love, rescue me.

Let me not bring shame on You, my Lord, for I have cried out to You. Let only the wicked be brought to shame. Let them ever be silent in their graves. Yes, let their lying lips be forever silenced; for out of hearts filled with pride and contempt, they speak arrogantly against those who stand in Your righteousness.

The blessings You have for the righteous, for those who honor and fear You, are stored up in Your warehouses. They are so many, there is no way to count them all. And You pour them out at will on those who take refuge in You; yes, for all who serve You openly before all mankind. You hide them within Your very presence. You hide them from the presence of pride and malice; even from all human conspiracies, keeping them safely hidden from any accusing voices under Your secret canopy ... out of sight.

I will sing Your praises, for You have shown me all the wonders of Your love when I was under siege of my enemies in a far city. In my distress, I called on You, "Lord I can't see You. But You heard me when I called. You didn't leave me stranded when I needed help.

Show your love for the Lord, all you His faithful ones! He alone will preserve those who remain true to Him. But the proud and arrogant He repays in full. Remain calm and courageous, NEVER give up! Expect our God to be there ... and always on time. Yes, He will ALWAYS be there for His children exactly when He is most needed.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Psalm Thirty One, verses 1-13

A Psalm of David and of Leigh

For the Music Director and Worship Leader

Lord, I have placed myself in Your hands; deliver me in Your righteousness and do not let me come to shame.

Quickly turn Your ear to hear my cries. Just as quickly come to my rescue; for You are my Rock, the Fortress where I take refuge. In You, I am ALWAYS safe. Because You are my safety, You guide me securely. You keep me from the snares the enemy has laid in my path.

Lord, I place my spirit into Your hands; deliver me, O faithful one.

As much as I love and trust You, Lord, I have hated those who cling to worthless idols; those things that keep them from seeking You. In Your love I am glad - ever rejoicing - for you saw my all of my pain and torment. You knew the deep anguish of my soul. But You did not turn me over to my enemies; instead You in a spacious meadow with plenty of room to breathe. 

But I am in trouble again, Lord, so once again I ask for Your mercy to be poured out on me. My mind - my very soul - is overflowing with grief, yes I bear it in spirit and body also.

My life is draining away with this deep anguish of the soul. My years are depleted, length of days shortened, even my physical strength is gone, giving way to weakness deep in my bones.

Because of this grief, I taunt my enemies; yes and cause my friends and neighbors to flee before me in fear. I may as well be dead, for all have forsaken me in my sorrow.  I hear them whispering from the shadows, "All around you is terror and torment." They plot my demise, making plans for how and where to end my life ...


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Psalms Thirty, verses 1-12

A Song of Dedication for the Temple of the Lord

As followers of Jesus, WE are His Temple!

Lord, I applaud You. Yes, I clap my hands as I sing Your praise; for You have raised me up out of the depths of my darkness and despair. And You did not allow my enemies to rejoice in my depression. I called for help and You heard me, bringing Your healing to clear my darkness. Thank You, Lord, for not allowing me to fall headlong into that pit. For sparing me from the grave. Ever will I sing Your praises!

Hey, congregation believers, sing His praises. All you His faithful servants, praise His holy name. Yes, I know He gets angry sometimes, but it only lasts for a moment. But His favor, grace, and mercy last forever; beyond this lifetime ... throughout all eternity. I know there are times you may cry yourself to sleep at night. But when you wake in the morning, He will refresh you with HIs unspeakable joy and peace.

You know, when my bank accounts and pantries were full and I felt safe and secure, I said, 'I've got the world by the tail ... I've got it made! For You had blessed me with Your favor, placing me upon Your solid Rock. Then You seemed to turn away just for a moment, hiding Your face from me. My whole world collapsed, and my spirit was in ruins.

I cried out to You in my despair. I longed to be shown Your mercy once more, so I tearfully yelled, 'how can Your Kingdom advance if I am dead and buried? When I can no longer sing Your songs of praise? Will my grave praise Your name? Will it tell others of Your faithfulness ... Your truth? Hear me once more, my God, and pour out Your mercy and forgiveness on me.

See, You've done it again: You turned my cries of anguish into joyous dancing. You have exchanged my sackcloth and ashes for Your pure joy. How can I be silent, now? Therefore I will never stop singing Your praises. Evermore will I lift my voice to give You honor, glory, and praise!


Monday, November 6, 2017

Psalms 29, Verses 1-11

A Psalm of David and of Leigh

A song of Praise to God's Glory and Might

Ascribe to the Lord, all you His children, giving Him all the glory and honor He is due; worship Him in all His glorious beauty, honor and might.

God's voice is watering the nations. As boisterous as the rolling thunder He speaks across the land. Majestic and symphonic, tympanic in its strength is His voice as He addresses them. By His voice alone can the Lord can destroy the largest cedar trees; yes even the cedars of Lebanon. With a word, He can make the hills of
Lebanon leap like a calf and Mount Hermon dance like a wild unicorn. With His voice, God can split a fire into individual flames.With one word He causes the earth to quake. Another word and your holy places in the wilderness are brought to ruin.

When God speaks again, the 'natural order' of things breaks down, which causes much travail even early childbirth. And yet again He speaks, and the forests are laid bare. But when He speaks in His temple, even our heart of hearts, and we reply with songs praise worshiping Him in all of His glory.

Our God is King forever; His throne sits above this flood of humanity. He delegates responsibility, strengthening those in need. 

The Lord, our God, pours out His peace
upon all of His children; a peace that is beyond all human comprehension and understanding.

Great is Our God and King!