For you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety

Sharing Psalm 4 here, which has been on my heart. Sleeping in peace every night is a blessing I often take for granted. But many of my friends don’t sleep well. In fact, most of my close friends don’t sleep well. I’ve been recommending this Psalm hoping this Psalm could be of comfort and bring peaceful sleep.

Good night, my friends.

Good night, friends I have yet to meet.

May you be at peace and sleep so that you will be restored by rest and have courage and strength to face tomorrow.

I recommend reading it over and over for desired effect. ūüėī

Peace

– – –

Psalm 4

Confident Plea for Deliverance from Enemies.

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.

2 How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?

Selah

3 But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

4 When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent.

Selah

5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.

6 There are many who say, ‚ÄúO¬†that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O¬†Lord!‚ÄĚ

7 You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.

8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

daily struggle: “make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation”

I am a morning riser. ¬†I can’t stay up late, and start getting sleepy around 9 pm! ¬†So I look forward to each morning when I wake up, refreshed on most mornings, and looking forward to a new day. ¬†Past week, however, I wake up and feel a bit lost. ¬†It’s been difficult to focus and to achieve sustained concentration level required to study. ¬†So I wonder, how can I calm down and take advantage of the morning hours that I am alert for to try to be productive?

The answer I think is psalms.  Reading psalms, I think will be my remedy.  I feel lost and this seems to be a human condition we all share, especially during such days of unsettling political, ecological, and moral climate.  If you find you are feeling lost, more than usual, I invite you to read psalms with me as you start your morning.  Maybe even after reading and praying through the psalms, you will still feel at a loss.  But at least God will hear our prayers through the words of the psalmist that we lift up.

This morning, I am just going to meditate and pray these words:

“make haste to help me,
¬†¬†¬†¬†O Lord, my salvation.” ¬†(Psalm 38:22)

Lord, come quickly to my aid. ¬†Lord, come quickly to our aid. ¬†That’s my prayer this morning. ¬†I will have that on repeat in my mind, soul, and heart.

Whose church is WillowCreekCC?

Past couple days I read about Willow Creek Community Church where I have attended church and the church that listen to and attend Sunday services regularly online.  I am saddened.

He’s a Superstar Pastor. She Worked for Him and Says He Groped Her Repeatedly.

Willow Creek Church Says It Will Investigate Its Powerful Pastor, Bill Hybels

Whose church is WillowCreekCC?  If the answer is God, then God, grant us courage and faith!

 

 

The Threat of Statelessness

Hannah Arendt states in The Origins of Totalitarianism that statelessness leads to rightlessness for persons. Basic privileges like owning a home or legal rights, such as being protected by the government start being stripped away. ¬†It’s not only in their country that they lose rights, but as a stateless person, they lose rights in all countries.

Here’s what’s at stake with losing rights of citizenship: “Not only did loss of national rights in all instances entail the loss of human rights; the restoration of human rights, as the recent example of the State of Israel proves, has been achieved so far only through the restoration or the establishment of national rights” (The Origins of Totalitarianism, 299).

This article:

Trump’s New Target in the Politics of Fear: Citizenship

by John Ganz (7/23/2018, NYTimes) talks about the relevance of Hannah Arendt today.  The author of the article, John Ganz, argues that making citizenship a right that cannot be taken away is necessary to protect rights of the citizens.

I’ve been reading Hannah Arendt’s argument on the statelessness and what that entails. ¬†So I was elated to read this article.

 

when in doubt, pray

I’m telling myself, when in doubt, pray. ¬†I am in the middle of writing a paper which is due tomorrow. ¬†I’ve been sitting at my desk for couple hours now not being able to start getting back into working on the paper. ¬†All I can think is, Oh Lord, Have Mercy on Me, Come quickly to ¬†my aid. ¬†Why is it, I mean it makes sense, but still, when things are going well, I’m not as desperate to pray to God. ¬†But when I feel desperate for help, I am on it, looking at God and crying out for help.

My younger brother and I have a special relationship. ¬†He contacts me out of the blue some times. ¬†When I contact him, I may or may ¬†not get an answer, but he isn’t so responsive. ¬†But when he contacts me, he’s full on focused on communicating with me. ¬†Actually, this doesn’t even happen so much now. ¬†But it used to be this way few times a year. ¬†He would contact me and have my full attention when he needed me to do something for him. ¬†Even so, I welcomed those interactions because otherwise I wasn’t getting to interact with him much. ¬†But oh man, oh man, how happy would I be if he just contacted me some what regularly just to say hi and to check in with each other!

So I wonder, does God just put up with what I bring or am I bringing to God my best as a living sacrifice? ¬†I know the answer. ¬†Though I have failed to execute this plan many times, I will once again try to be faithful, with God’s help!

sudden loss

a friend i had lost touch with died suddenly yesterday morning on 6/12/2018. ¬†she was 40 years old. ¬†devastating news. ¬†i’m praying for her baby boy, her husband, and her family… ¬†even though i hadn’t spoken to her in years i am still feeling the sense of shock and loss and wish we had made the effort to reconnect. ¬†i am filled with regret and sadness…

The Inescapable God

I am preaching this morning on the following Scripture passage:

Psalm 139:1-6 (NRSV)

The Inescapable God

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.

God knows us, what we do, our thoughts, in fact all our ways.  God even knows what I am about to do!  It is all together too wonderful.  Why?  To be not seen, unheard, not known, this leads to excruciating pain of alienation and isolation.  But to be known, to be seen for who we are, to be heard, and to be known not only for what we have done, but for what we are about to do is to be truly recognized for who we are, as we are!  As creation of God, what can we do?

As Samuel answers God when he was called in the middle of the night, I believe our answer should be “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10). ¬†

In order that light might shine out of darkness, for God who created us and wrote our lives in the book of life, we are persecuted but not forsaken: 8¬†We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;¬†9¬†persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

To each of us, Jesus calls us to observe the Sabbath. ¬†But this means that on the other days, we are working! ¬†Doesn’t make much sense to rest unless you were doing something in the first place. ¬†However, “The sabbath was made for human kind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).

For me this week, to shine the light means to speak about the need for caring for the planet we live on.  To bring awareness to all of us about the need to bring peace to the earth, to people living in it, but also to the environment.

My hope this morning is that you would take seriously the calling of God for you, in your life, in this time and place, to do what God calls you to do. ¬†May each of us answer God, when God calls us,¬†“Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10). ¬†