Saturday, March 23, 2013

Waking up with Great Anticipation!

Throughout this year, each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The twenty-third of each month, I'm studying Psalm 57. Here's what Treasure I found today.

Awake, my glory (my inner self); awake, harp and lyre! I will awake right early [I will awaken the dawn]! Psalm 57:8 (AMP)

"I will awake early," Literally, "I will awake the dawn," a bold figure of poetry, as if the writer had said - The morning shall not awake me to praise; but in my songs I will anticipate the dawn. R. T. Society's Notes

Anticipation:  enthusiasm, anxiousness Synonyms: alacrity, ambition, anticipation, ardor, avidity, earnestness, excitement, fervor, greediness, gusto, heartiness, hunger, impatience, impetuosity, intentness, keenness, longing, promptness, quickness, solicitude, thirst, vehemence, voracity, yearning, zeal, zest, zing.

Remember those days when we were kids and were so excited for a vacation, or a special day, that we woke up extra early, and jumped out of bed? We were filled with so much joy, excitement, anticipation that there so just NO WAY we could stay asleep. 

Psalm 57:8 expresses the same thrill of anticipation concerning praising God. The very thought of praising and giving thanks to God, wakes me up rejoicing! Literally, waking singing a song! 

If I want to awake singing a song of praise to God, there are a few things I must do—before I go to sleep!
  1. I need to take time to consider and think about who God is. 
  2. I need to take time to count the wonderful blessings God gave me that day, week, month, year.
  3. I need to take time to contemplate God’s greatness.
  4. I need to take time to collect some praise music to fill my mind as I drift off to sleep.

Waking up with great anticipation to praising my awesome wonderful God, is the best way to create a positive day!

Friday, March 22, 2013

God’s Favorites

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 30. Here is what I learned.

When things were going great I crowed, “I’ve got it made. I’m God’s favorite. He made me king of the mountain.” Psalm 30:6 (MSG)

God’s favorite. Being a favorite can be a lot of fun! You get extra treats, you get to enjoy special celebrations, everything is taken care of, and you just sit back and enjoy. 

But being a “favorite” also brings responsibilities and a higher standard of accountability. 

As I thought about “being God’s favorite” a couple people came to mind; Job and Mary.

Job was a “favorite” of God’s because, “He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.” Job 1:1 (NLT)
God knew that Job was a “favorite” and even brought Job to the attention of Satan. Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Job 1:8 (NLT)

Mary, was also a “favorite”. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! Luke 1:28-30 (NLT)

First and foremost, both Job and Mary were a “favorite” because they obeyed God. It’s that simple. They were people of integrity and feared God.

Secondly, because they were a “favorite” both were asked to do “more than the average person”. Being a favorite brings responsibility. 

Thirdly,  simply because they went through, what we would consider hardships, they did not turn from God, rather they “got to know God better”. 

And lastly, they remained a “favorite of God’s”  because they continued to obey and honor Him, not based upon the blessings or “good times”, rather because of Who God is. 

Being a “favorite” does have it’s blessings! But it also has it’s responsibilities. To create a positive day, I need to remember that if it want to really be one of “God’s Favorites”, then I must first and foremost fear God!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Throughout this year, each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The twenty-first of each month, I'm studying Psalm 28. Here's what Treasure I found today.

Draw me not away with the wicked, And with the workers of iniquity; That speak peace with their neighbors, But mischief is in their hearts. Psalm 28:3 (ASV)

Non·sense (noun)
1 a : words or language having no meaning or conveying no intelligible ideas; b (1) : language, conduct, or an idea that is absurd or contrary to good sense (2) : an instance of absurd action
2 a : things of no importance or value : trifles; b : affected or impudent conduct

Sometime words seem like nonsense, they are gibberish, convey no intelligible ideas. And other times, we hear words that sound sweet and pleasant, and are just “fluff”. There is nothing behind the words, they are just words. 

Psalm 28:3 mentions those that speak peace, good things, but actually mean harm. As I thought about that, I had to evaluate my own speech. Do I speak nonsense just to be heard? Do I say one thing but mean another? Do I say I’ll do something, but have no intention of actually doing what I agreed to do? 

I thought about the phrase heard often in Christian communication, “I’ll pray for you.” That’s so easy to say, but often it’s said with good intentions, but we never follow through.  Saying “I’ll pray for you” and not praying is exactly like the wicked’s empty speech. We might was well be speaking nonsense, for our words have no meaning, they are just words. 

How do I know if my speech is nonsense or truth? The easiest way to make sure my speech is backed up with actions. If I say I’ll do something, I do it. The old adage is true, “actions speak louder than words”. One way to measure the value of one’s speech, is to evaluate their actions.  

So, will be speech be nonsense, of no value? Or will my words be truth, backed up by actions? 

To create a positive day, I need to make sure my speech is not nonsense, but that I’m speaking truth, backed up with actions. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Object Lesson of Max and the Hawk

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 27. Here is what I learned.

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. Psalm 27:3 (NLT)

Though castles stand together against me; mine heart shall not dread (Though hosts, or armies, stand together against me; my heart shall not fear). Though battle riseth against me; in this thing I shall have hope. Psalm 27:3 (WYC)

Encamp: construct camp, set up camp.
Fear (afraid): affright, be make afraid, dreadful, put in fearful reverence, terrible act.
Heart: inner man, mind, will.

Every now and then, a hawk sits on a tree directly outside the living room window. Max, my parakeet, has a cage in front of that window. When the hawk arrives, Max is “fine” as long as he can see me, or come sit on me. But if I leave the room when the hawk is outside, Max not only gets upset, he flies to where I am. Now, the hawk cannot get to Max. There is a double window, a screen, and the wall between Max and the hawk. But just knowing that the hawk is there, puts fear into Max, unless he can see me. Max feels safe when he knows I’m near. 

This is a great object lesson of Psalm 27:3. The enemies are only “camped”. They are not in active war, they are “bedded” down. But just knowing that they are there, can instill fear, UNLESS, one realizes that God is the ultimate protector. 
Doubtless the shadow of anticipated trouble is, to timorous minds, a more prolific source of sorrow than the trouble itself, but faith puts a strengthening plaister (plaster) to the back of courage, and throws out of the window the dregs of the cup of trembling. The Treasury of David
How often have I started worrying and fretting over an “encamped situation”? It’s amazing how my mind can create the worst scenarios possible. That is, if God is not the focus of my trust and faith. When I stop facing the encampment, and turn my focus to God and His love and protection, I am at peace. 

The object lesson of Max and the hawk, will remind me that to create a positive day, I need to ignore the encampment, and remember that God is present and watching out for me. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trash Wrapped in Ribbons & Bows

Throughout this year, each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The nineteenth of each month, I'm studying Psalm 15. Here's what Treasure I found today.

And do not ·tell lies about others [slander with their tongue]. They do no ·wrong [evil] to their neighbors and do not ·gossip [L raise a reproachful matter with their associates]. Psalm 15:3 (EXB)

He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor. Psalm 15:3 (AMB)

"Backbiteth not." This crime is a conjugation of evils, and is productive of infinite mischiefs; it undermines peace, and saps the foundation of friendship; it destroys families, and rends in pieces the very heart and vitals of charity; it makes an evil man party, and witness, and judge, and executioner of the innocent. - Bishop Taylor  
"Backbiteth." The word here used comes from a root signifying loot, and denotes a person who goes about from house to house, speaking things he should not (1 Timothy 5:13); and a word from this root signifies spies; and the phrase here may point at persons who creep into houses, pry into the secrets of families, divulge them, and oftentimes represent them in a false light. Such are ranked among the worst of men, and are very unfit to be in the society of saints, or in a church of Christ. See Romans 1:30. - John Gill

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, the internet, cell-phones, are all means of staying in contact with our friends, neighbors and even people who have like interests. But these things also make it much easier for slander, lies, and rumors to be spread. And just as when we speak, once our words are “sent”, they can not be deleted or “taken back”.  

But what I said was “true”. But beyond being “true” was it beneficial? Were the words encouraging, uplifting, positive? Or were they said to build us up, make us look better, and disgrace someone else. But I was only sharing a prayer request—really? Don’t you think God, knows the specifics without us trying to share the sins of others?
Gossip is the spreading of unfavorable information about someone else, even if that information is true. Slander is making a false statement or misrepresentation about another person that defames or damages the person’s reputation. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). This means that although we speak of the sins of the tongue, our real problem is our heart. 
Respectable Sins, by Jerry Bridges

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. Ephesians 4:29 (AMP)

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Ephesians 4:29 (MSG)

Each word is a gift. We can try to wrap up gossip, slander, or harsh words with pretty ribbons and  bows of excuses and justifications, but the gift inside is still trash.  Just because something may be acceptable to us, the real question, is it acceptable to God? Since each word is a gift, to ourselves and others, we should take much care in our choice of words and their meaning. 

To create a positive day, I must allow God to censor my words to make sure that the gifts I’m sharing are acceptable to Him, and are not trash wrapped  in ribbons and bows.

Monday, March 18, 2013

“Spring Tree”

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 1. Here is what I learned.

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. Psalm 1:3 (AMP)

They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do. Psalm 1:3 (GNT)

Wither: disgrace, dishonor, lightly esteem, come to nothing, make vile, drop down, languish, wither and fall, fade.

I live in Illinois, and very Fall, the leaves turn beautiful colors and then fall off the trees, leaving behind bare branches. To me, the trees during the winter months look dead. The trees are simply a bunch of brown, grey sticks. No beauty. No life showing. 

In contrast to the Winter trees, are the Spring trees. The bright green leaves begin to spout and it seems like overnight the trees are full of green lush leaves. The evidence of life has returned. 

I want to be a “Spring Tree”, one with green lushes leaves that are bright evidence of the life within... the life is supplied by God. No matter what season of life I’m in, a dark, painful Winter, growing pains of Spring, fun, joyous Summer, or cool, colorful Fall, I can still produce the lushes green leaves of peaceful life—if I remain grounded in God’s Word. 

To create a positive day and be “Spring Tree”, I must not only read and study God’s word, but allow it to take root in my soul and life. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Eyes Will Sparkle

Throughout this year, each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The seventeenth of each month, I'm studying Psalm 13. Here's what Treasure I found today.

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Psalm 13:3 (NLT)

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; lighten the eyes [of my faith to behold Your face in the pitchlike darkness], lest I sleep the sleep of death. Psalm 13:3 (AMB)

When a person is sick, or unhappy, the eyes are dull and lack luster. Depression causes they eyes to “be in a fog”. Eyes sparkle when they see something they like, approve of, or are happy with. Eyes that sparkle are radiating the joy from within.

The old saying, “The eyes are windows to our souls.” has some truth to it. When we are happy and at peace, our eyes sparkle, they “smile”. When we are sad, depressed, and yes, sinning and ignoring God, our eyes are dim and lifeless. 

How do I keep that sparkle? Simply, “keep the soul clean”, meaning that first when I sin, I repent and ask God for forgiveness; and secondly, I remember who God is and what He is doing. 

In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul! Psalm 94:19 (AMP)

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits— Psalm 103:2 (AMP)

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty— Psalm 104:1 (AMP)

For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good. Psalm 107:9 (AMP)

My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly; for [only] when Your judgments are in the earth will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God). Isaiah 26:9 (AMP)

When my soul fainted upon me [crushing me], I earnestly and seriously remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to You, into Your holy temple. Jonah 2:7 (AMP)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Matthew 11:28 (AMP)

When my soul is right with God, when my “soul is clean”, my eyes will sparkle because of God’s amazing love, and that will create a positive day!