Friday, October 7, 2016

Psalm 18 and Gratitude

I love you, Lord, my strength
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in who I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted, the cherubim and flew;
he soars on the wings of the wind;
He made darkness discovering, his canopy around him -
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The Lord thundered from heaven.
the voice of the Most High resounds.\
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from the powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
All the laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
 I have been blames before him
and have kept myself from sin.
The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
To the faithful you show your faithful,
to the blameless you show your blameless,
to the pure you shourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my god turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my god I can scale a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect;
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a dear;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me.
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.

I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me
you made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them -
to the Lord, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
I trampled them like mud in the streets.
Y have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
they all lose heart ,
they come trembling from their strongholds.
The Lord lives!Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Saviour!
He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
therefore I will praise you , Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.
He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
to David and to his descendants forever.

NIV Bible

Thank you Lord for this day. Thank you for this week of work. Thank you for my brother Ron and his family. Thank you for the doctors and nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and all the others who care for him now. Thank you for my nephews  who are truly the finest of men. Thank you for my niece in law.  Thank you mostly for my sister in law. Thank you for their being there and for the love and care and hope they all give my brother.
Thank you Lord for breath. Thank you Lord for the basic amenities that I have this day. I awoke and there was the light switch. Thank you for the light. I had a washroom I could use indoors. Thank you for the toilet. Thank you for the running water and sink. Thank you for my stove and coffee maker and the glorious coffee. I love the Italian bakery coffee and my stainless steel expresso maker. Thank you for the fresh fruit and yoghurt.
But before that we went outdoors into the darkness and rain and smelt the fresh air.  There was no need to arm myself. My cockapoo dog, Giblert was so happy to see me getting up and getting his leash. He was just so delighted to sniff every nuance of the morning. He was a joy to watch pulling me along as he piddled on bushes and showed such enthusiasm for the day. Thank you Lord that I had so few aches and pains this morning. My lower back is cranky and my foot and knee but really it was a joy to walk behind Gilbert enjoying the early morning before dawn.  Thank you for the renewal. Thank you for the greenery. Thank you for the rain. Thank you for Gilbert always being so regular and the little doggie bags and the tiny flash light on my key chain and the public garbage bins which are taken care of by the city. Thank you for the city workers and the people who maintain this city. Thank you for all the unseen workers. Thank you for the people about where I live who daily do rounds removing any trash, maintaining the lawns, bushes and trees . Thank you for their work. Thank you for the whole system of the city, the trucks and roads and buildings and the maintenance and repair.
Thank you now for this couch. I love this couch. I love sitting here in the morning and reading my iPhone , going through the mail and reading Facebook.  Forgive me Lord for following the evil and insanity of politics with the diabolical men and women who with immense greed and bullying swagger across the world stage like Zeus and Hera of old.  Help these leaders be more caring of us in the middle class.  Help our leadership show maturity and more common sense, less arrogance and ideology.  Help them address their rampant out of control addictions to drugs alcohol sex and control .  Help them be less terror stricken and less terrifying.  Help me have more faith in you my lord. Help me believe in you and your love and care in my present and my future. Help me be less distracted by their monkey vaudeville deceitful antics. Help me be more forgiving of the broadcasting loud speaker child screaming in a supermarket alley temper tantrum throwing devious media.  Help me forgive marketing people their lies and cowardice.
Help me be a better person and more true to my love of you.  Help me laugh more too Lord. Help me see the humour, black and otherwise in this life of complexity and suffering. Help me be amused more at my own frailty , my declining ‘hip slick cool’ image and my self awareness of my limitations. I may have more possibility and less limitation than any time in my life before but when I was younger I was more stupid and knew less so could not fully appreciate all that I have so appreciate that saying ‘youth is wasted on the young’.  But so is aging. Today I still struggle with perception. I see the glass half empty when it is more than overflowing. Help me to live less in regret and envy and more in thanksgiving and praise.
Thank you Lord. You are great. You are love. You are imagination. You are the dream and the dreamer and I am so thankful that you are within  and without and everywhere and everything.  Thank you for your call and callings.  Thank you for spirituality. Thank you for religions and the places where folk can come to be away from all the other busy ness of existence to be with you in these buildings built to celebrate you and in the parks that beautify creation. Help me to stop more and smell the roses and feel your presence. Thank you for churches and temples Lord.  Thank you for synagogues and mosques where people pray and worship and sing of Love. Help us to know agape and come together with joy and kindness. Help us to overcome our fear and hate.  Help me to act locally while I think globally. Help me to show love in the minutiae of all my relationships today. Help me never to be self serving and undiscerning and flee from tough love or truth with love. But let me always know compassion. Let me always see my fellows as family and not as objects. Help me treat my own self and my body as St. Francis did, as a friend.  Help me to face the struggle within myself to do that which is good versus that which only appears so.  Help me to separate Logic and Rhetoric.  Help me to know truth from false truth. Help me to see the smile in the frown and know that it is fear that is behind hate and that it is fear that is at the basis of those who need to control others. Help me know the child within and know that child as you Lord.
Help me love God and not crucify him. Help me know the stranger as Jesus but not to be a fool but rather with discernment. Help me recognize the professional beggar from the person who has fallen and just needs a hand up today. Help me see the liars and help them turn from their evil or avoid them.
Thank you Lord.  I am alive today.  So I know that all those times I feared and all those days I lost hope and all those moments I thought I was betrayed are passed. I know that you have brought me through all the despair and I am here again today.  Help me to be sober minded today. Help me know serenity. Help me know peace of mind. Help me have passion. Help me find wisdom. Help me in all my action and be in all my movements and all my breathing and hearts beating. Help me know you in nanoseconds and hours Lord.
Thank you Lord Jesus.
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