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Rewriting Psalm 143 – Great Exercise!

So, I was having a hard time connecting with God recently. I would pray and read my Bible, but I just felt like I was on auto-pilot. I got easily distracted and often forgot what I read (even in the middle of a sentence!) If I started praying, I’d quickly find myself crossing off items on my grocery list in my head, without actually ever finishing the prayer.

Thankfully a friend suggested I make one small change – and I can honestly say it has changed my prayer life dramatically! Instead of just reading the bible, she encouraged me to rewrite each verse in my own words.

When I sat down, took the time to read each word and then rewrite it in my own words, it’s like the Bible came to life in whole new way. I think it’s true that God speaks to us all in different ways – which is why I think this exercise is so helpful for anyone. When you rewrite the verses and then read them back to yourself – it’s like reading a story written JUST FOR YOU.

Check out the example I did below. I hope this exercise helps you to connect with God more fully too. Enjoy!

Today I translated Psalm 143

{you can do any chapter}

Here’s the original scripture:

Lord, hear my prayer,
    listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
    come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
    for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,
    he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
    like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
    my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
    I thirst for you like a parched land.[a]

Answer me quickly, Lord;
    my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
    or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
    in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
    destroy all my foes,
    for I am your servant.

Here’s my translation:

Hey God, it’s me!
    are you listening?
You are faithful and righteous, it’s true.
    please, open your ears to hear me.
I know you are righteous to judge
    and no man on earth is above you.
But the truth is, I know the enemy is prowling around
    he lurks around and threatens me
he wants to lure me into darkness
    into a place that is quiet and dead.
And my spirit within me is growing weak
    my heart literally feels broken
I remember good days from long ago
    And even now I meditate on Your greatness
    and think about the amazing things you have created
I open my arms to you
    I thirst for your truth like dry land

7 Please don’t wait
    alone, I will fail
Don’t be quiet,
    or else I fear I will whither away
As the morning dawns, may I be reminded of your unceasing LOVE
    no matter what, my trust is in YOU
Give me a sign – where should I take my next step?
    I will surrender my life over and over again for you.
Keep me safe from people who want me to fail
    in you, I’m protected
10 Please teach me to do YOUR will
    and remind me there’s no other God but YOU.
Holy spirit within me
    keep me level headed

11 Your name is above all other names Lord. Preserve me.
    In your righteousness, align me with Your will.
12 Show your great love for me and guard me from people who hate me.
    If anyone is against you, don’t let them propsper
    I just want to serve you…

 

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Bible Verse of the Day – Stupid Sins!

Keep Me From Stupid Sins

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“…Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar.” – ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19:11-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Simple enough, right? I literally almost laughed out loud today when I read “stupid sins” – mostly because it’s so true. Sins really are pretty stupid. I can’t think of a better descriptive word.

I hope that this little excerpt will stick with you throughout the day today. May you be washed clean of the sins that try so stealthily to stick to you, and may you be comforted by the truth that Jesus has died to set you free from them. And to set you free from repeating the ones that want to cling so closely.

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Day 5 Devotional: What is a Pinion?

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~ Psalms‬ ‭91:4‬ ‭ESV‬ 

Well tonight I learned that a pinion is the outer part of a bird’s wing, including the flight feathers. Pretty neat huh?

Jesus is all about  making sure we are fully covered, and also entrusts us with the same task – to protect and completely cover  what we’ve been given.

I forget what verse, but in the Bible we are given the commission to be disciples and go out amongst all nations, covering the ends of the earth to share the story of Jesus – Likewise Jesus himself spreads his wings and spills his blood to cover us, until the end of himself.

I may be drawing parallels that were never intended, but nonetheless,  it feels good to ponder about pinions and the protection of God tonight. Much better than scrolling through my Twitter feed.

 

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Day 4 Devotional: Light Shines in Darkness

 

Light Shines in Darkness

Day 4 Devotional: Thursday, Sept 22

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Every morning when the sun shines

I know Lord, that you are mine

Even when darkness threatens to take

my sleep-filled night and keep me awake

I approach this day with a holy power

Knowing that you are with me every hour

In you, your light overcomes all fear

You shine bright and make things clear

No matter what lies ahead today

You will go before me and make the grey

Turn to light, bright with beauty

Because my God, you are with me

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Random Tangents of a Broken Christ Follower

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Sometimes I feel like redemption stories do more harm than good. Sure the Bible is all about redemption. The gospel is a story of how Jesus redeems his people from the pit and gives them new life and a new hope that is sealed. Yet, the Bible is also laden with stories that are difficult to stomach without that comforting theme of redemption woven in.

There are many stories in my own life that aren’t in a phase of redemption. Some chapters are barren and cold, and still in the dead of winter. I’d like to hear all kinds of stories from believers, not just the warm and fuzzies, much like I’d rather hear about the Bible in its entirety, not just a “verse of the day” to get my quick spiritual fix.

Testimonies might be warm and fuzzy, but likely it’s not that that person found Jesus and now their life is perfect. In fact, their life might be more difficult. But that’s WHY I think Jesus is so cool. He makes every moment worth it. The moments when we sing on hilltops and the scary, dark pits we fall into and wonder how we’ll climb out of.

Life is crazy and messy. It’s hard. And sometimes slapping a bible verse on complex questions just won’t do. I don’t really have a point to this random tangent. Just sharing some thoughts on a platform where I probably shouldn’t.

On a lighter note, I think most people will be excited to know that my new favorite acronym of the week is PTL (praise the Lord) which has quickly replaced my former one,”on fleek.” Thanks to my cute friend Kayleen for keeping me in the Christian acronym loop.

PTL,

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