Praise is a sacrifice
Choosing the gracefulness of gratitude
Over the seeming gratification
Of griping and grousing
Choosing to receive in every package
The gifts a good God always gives

Praise accepts
Abundance beyond the want
And offers thanks as
An act of trust
In the affection of an Almighty sovereign

Praise is a gift
Freely given
Graciously acknowledged
By the One Who sees all
And recognizes it for what it is–
A sacrifice

That fills the life of the giver

With the fragrance
Of His presence.

From thirsty, parched soul
To bubbling fountain
Christ makes you the miracle

Jesus gives the order
Servants do what servants do
Water becomes wine

9-10-11

Psalm 139:6
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

vi
I admit, I am a bit overwhelmed
As I ponder
How completely
You care for me.
I can’t wrap my mind around the
Magnitude
Of these details:
I can’t even get past the fact that You
Care enough
To observe me so minutely,
To study me.

9-10-11

Psalm 139:5
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

v
The oddest part is this: You haven’t rifled
through my heart and moved on.
No, You’ve besieged me. Here I thought
I’d have to look for You, to chase You down,
And when I looked out my windows,
You had me completely surrounded.
You’d planned Your campaign,
You were here for the long haul–here to stay.
And I could feel You laying Your hand on me–
For what?
Just to show me Your closeness?
As a fatherly expression of affection?
In benediction? As investiture of power?
Or maybe so I wouldn’t be afraid of Your
Drastic measures to make me Yours.

9-10-11

Psalm 139:4
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

iv
You know me so well that You know
What I will say
Before I say it.
[When others do this, I sometimes find it
Disconcerting--should I be
Comforted when You do it?]
[Do You sit back with pleasure to hear
What You know I will say
And how I will say it?]

9-10-11

Psalm 139:3
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

iii
Like diffused light on a cloud-covered day,
You are everywhere around me
Yet springing from no one spot.
You surround what I do
All day long, and at night
Your presence
Is as ubiquitous as the air I breathe.
Like a nurse who has worked with one doctor
For many years,
You are used to the way I do things.
You’re familiar with my
Mode of action–
And You’re comfortable with me.
[Actually, God, I'd like to be comfortable with You that way, too.]

9-10-11

Psalm 139:2
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

ii
You observe me–
As though I were the most important
Person in the world to You,
You are aware of where I am
And what I am doing:
Whether I am sitting down or standing up,
You know it.
And You can tell,
Like good friends can from across the room,
Exactly what I am thinking,
Nuance for nuance better than I know myself
Sometimes. Well, always.

 

9-10-11

Psalm 139:1
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

i
Lord God, You have searched me,
Digging deeply down as a miner digs into
His vein of precious metal or as a
Treasure-hunter digs down into his treasure-trove.
Because of this, You know me–
You’ve seen all there is to see.

This year in school, my students and I are memorizing Psalm 139 and Romans 6-8. In September, as we were studying through Psalm 139, the full meanings behind the Hebrew words struck me with such lovely force that I decided to try my hand at paraphrasing the psalm, attempting to communicate some of the full color that the words themselves express. By the time I’d made it through the first 6 verses, I’d found myself with two hand-written pages of something more poetic than prose but more prosy than even my typical poems are. I had to laugh at the way it takes me so many many words to communicate the full–wait, not even the full thought of what God expressed in 6 short and deceptively simple verses.

The month of February at my church is a month of reviewing verses that we have memorized over the years, so it is more than fitting (not that I need an excuse) to post this reflection on one of the passages that I partly memorized as a young girl, have now completely memorized, and have found comforting and astonishing at many and various times through my life.

Let me encourage you to read the psalm if you have not–and to read it again if you have–and to ponder with me God’s intimate knowledge and intricate creation of each individual person . . . of me . . . of you.

Psalm 139 (Blue Letter Bible)
p.s. If you click on the “C” beside each verse on BLB, it will bring up the verse with the Hebrew words for each phrase. Click on the numbers in the column marked “Strong’s” to go to a page that gives the meaning of and detailed information on the word itself.

Grace and comfort
To the sorrowful sinner:
Forgiveness

2-11-2011

Hello, my dear readers =)

A recent discussion with a friend over one of the stanzas in my recent poem “Hard” gave me this idea =) Our discussion reminded me a little of the exercise we did on my blog a few years ago with John Donne’s poem “Death Be Not Proud”–you can read those paraphrases in this post: Trash Talking Death (be sure to look in the comments!).

I thought it might be fun to do it again, so . . .

If you have the time, would you choose a stanza of  “Hard” to either rework or to put into your own words?

You don’t have to try to make it “poetic” if you don’t want to; prose would be just as fun as poetry! Just share your version of these thoughts–or even your own examples of the thoughts I shared.

You can post your version in the comments for this post. Please be sure to include the stanza number!

Thank you! =) *eager smile*

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