12.13.2017

Psalm 136 (Slightly Edited)

Psalm 136 is a song commemorating God's redemptive provision on behalf of the nation of Israel, but interspersed between the lines of the song is the refrain "His love endures forever."  It is as though the love of God is woven together with the story of God's people...

Below are two versions of Psalm 136 (the original version is found here).  One is my own personal creation, and the other is compiled from short phrases of testimony from a group of people in the congregation:


I will give you thanks and praise for you have loved me
   His love endures forever.
You gave me parents who cared for me and corrected me,
who protected me and taught me to be strong
   His love endures forever.
You gave me a brother to love and fight with, to explore and play with
   His love endures forever.
You taught me your love as a small boy,
and buried your words in my heart
   His love endures forever.
In my rebellion you kept watch over me,
when I spurned my family you looked on with sadness
   His love endures forever.
As I tore down my own life with my own hands,
you kept your hand on my heart
   His love endures forever.
You used my own evil deeds to bring me
right to the place you wanted me to be
   His love endures forever.
A place where you could correct me and heal me,
rebuke me and restore me
   His love endures forever.
For you had plans for me that I could never have imagined,
nor chosen for myself
   His love endures forever.
You have given me a family of my own to love as I have been loved
   His love endures forever.
You have given me a life of purpose and hope,
and called me to labor in service to your Kingdom
   His love endures forever.I will give you thanks and praise for you have loved me,
and you do love me
   His love endures forever.

===================

I was kidnapped by sin, a captive--broken, wounded,
and abused; your love rescued my soul,
restores my heart, and re-invents my life story.
   His love endures forever.
Despite my errors, I have always had
the covenant provision of God, never knowing lack.
   His love endures forever.
He rescues me when I do something stupid
   His love endures forever.
I was able to witness life and death
in a way that was presented in mercy and grace
through the loss of my mother.
   His love endures forever.
Despite my constant doubt and shortcomings
God continues to reveal himself to me.
   His love endures forever.
Through my broken-hearted mess,
when my insecurities seem to rule the day…
   His love endures forever.
He gives me songs of joy in the night.
   His love endures forever.
I am in a place where I am flourishing,
surrounded by a community that loves me.
   His love endures forever.

11.25.2017

100 Things: Simple Acts of Purpose

1-smile at someone
2-hold a door open for someone
3-tell someone “thank you”
4-tell someone “I love you”
5-tell someone what you like about them
6-let someone else talk first in the conversation
7-hug someone
8-hold someone's hand
9-compliment someone on their outfit
10-take your dog for a walk
11-let someone pet your dog
12-let someone else choose the movie
13-let someone else choose the meal
14-get someone a glass of water
15-pass the salt without being asked
16-let someone else go first in line
17-let someone beat you at a game
18-help cook dinner with your family
19-help clean the house
20-help do the laundry
21-take out the trash
22-dust the television
23-clear the table after the meal
24-do the dishes
25-shovel the sidewalk of snow
26-offer your seat on the bus/train to someone else
27-put your phone away when talking with people
28-help a child tie their shoes
29-keep someone company who is lonely
30-hold someone’s hand when they are sad
31-sit with someone when they are sad
32-forgive someone
33-donate some clothes to Salvation Army
34-donate your spare change to a kids sports team
35-let someone else have the last cookie
36-loan someone your earrings
37-loan someone a sweater
38-say hello to someone new at church
39-make coffee/tea for someone when they are cold
40-invite someone to eat with you
41-invite someone to sit next to you at church
42-introduce someone to your friends and family
43-share a funny video with someone
44-tell someone a joke
45-tell someone “Happy Birthday” on their birthday
46-listen to someone else tell a joke and laugh
47-show someone a picture of somewhere beautiful you’ve been
48-when you see something beautiful, say “thank you, God”
49-make a list of things you are thankful for

50-share the list
51-point out a beautiful sunset to a friend
52-point out beautiful architecture to a friend
53-share a verse from scripture with someone
54-make a list of things you like about someone
55-share that list with them
56-share the list with someone else
57-share your mistakes with others
58-share something personal with someone
59-tell someone the truth when they ask a question
60-apologize to someone you have hurt or upset
61-dance in public
62-tell someone a good thing that happened to you
63-share your successes with others
64-keep a promise
65-help clean the church
66-help with the church BBQs
67-color a coloring book with a kid in church
68-help set up for church on Sunday
69-help someone carry groceries
70-volunteer at the farm
71-cook a meal for someone
72-clean someone else's room
73-organize someone else’s messy closet
74-pick up trash on the street
75-shovel your neighbor’s snow
76-invite people to start a dance team
77-volunteer at the animal shelter
78-help someone move apartments
79-ask someone to tell you their life story
80-share your life story with someone
81-ask someone, “where will you be in 10 years?”
82-share a dream with someone
83-text someone a simple “thank you”
84-ask someone to teach you something you don’t know how to do
85-teach someone something you do know how to do
86-send someone a card
87-tell someone a story
88-let someone help you
89-play someone your favorite song
90-ask someone their favorite song
91-show someone your favorite picture from your childhood
92-write someone a letter
93-write someone a poem
94-invite someone over to watch your favorite movie
95-ask someone their favorite movie
96-walk to the store with someone
97-listen to someone who has something to say
98-pick some wildflowers and give them to someone
99-hide a secret note for someone where they will find it later
100-share this list with someone who thinks they have no purpose in life

11.07.2017

Psalm 137

A painting by Fugel that captures the despair of the Jewish exiles in Babylon; a despair that turns to rage by the end of the 137th Psalm.



Here is a rendition of the first lines of lament from this passage.






Here is a link to another version with voices only.


11.04.2017