Psalm 103 …What I Believe

IMG_0816  Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
The wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Psalm 103

 

There are so many gospel truths wrapped up in this Old Testament Psalm of praise!

Let’s break it down…

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—(v. 1-2)

I am to give thanks to God with my whole soul, heart, and mind.  I need to remember that He is Holy and good – all the time.  He alone is worthy of my praise.

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, (v. 3)

God is the One who forgives and heals my soul. All-my-sins.  He breaks the hold of sin on my life. Through Christ, my sins are washed away and I am restored to Him.

who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,  (v. 4)

I am guilty in my sin and deserving of punishment and death, but Christ paid my ransom.  He redeemed me and saved me from eternal death and separation from Him.  He deals tenderly with me.  I am unworthy, but he crowns me with love and compassion.

who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (v. 5)

Only God can satisfy the longings of my soul.  I am strengthened and filled with new life in Him.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love. (v. 8)

Although I am a sinner and guilty, He shows compassion and extends grace through His Son, Jesus Christ. Grace is God blessing us despite the fact that we don’t deserve it.  There was nothing I could do to earn my salvation.  It is a gift from God. He is extending kindness to me – the ungodly and sinful. He has been so patient and loving, allowing me time to repent of my sins. He wants all to be saved, but we each must choose – to either accept His gift of debt paid in full and to repent of our sins or… to reject Him.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;  (v.9)

Once I have repented of my sins and turned to Him for my salvation, His wrath is no longer on me!  Jesus, God’s Only Son, took my punishment.  Wow.  I have to pause and truly let that sink down deep in my heart.

He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.  (v.10)

My God is merciful!   Because of my sins, I was deserving of eternal death and separation from Him.   God not punishing us as our sins deserve is mercy.  He supplied deliverance from judgment through the death of His Son on the cross.  I am saved by the precious blood of Christ.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (v. 11-12)

When I truly repent of my sins, God forgives me and my sins will be remembered no more!

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; (v. 13)

I have been adopted as a child of God and He deals tenderly with me as a loving, earthly father would (instructing, guiding, comforting, disciplining, etc.).

For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
The wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more. (v. 14-16)

God created me.  He knows me – how I was formed, my frailties, my thoughts…everything!  He knows that my actual life on earth (my joys, my sorrows, my relationships, my plans, my accomplishments) is short in comparison to eternity with Him.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.  (v. 17-18)

The Lord will not forsake me!  His love is everlasting towards those who obey His commands.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.  (v. 19)

God is all powerful!  He has an unshakable throne and rules over all.  Salvation is found in no one else.  There is no other name than Jesus by which I can be saved.

Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.   (v. 20-22)

He is deserving of ALL praise!  Blessed be His name!

 

funeral 1It is fitting to give God alone all praise and glory
for who He is and what He has done for me (and for YOU)!

10,000 Reasons

 

Would you like free Bible Memorization printables to help with memorizing Psalm 103?
Psalm 103 – Overflowing with Praise

Songs for a Grieving Heart

My Father God, you are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.  Your right hand upholds us and we rest in You.  You fill us with hope as we trust in You.  For you are sovereign, faithful, good, and true – all the time.  You are with us, sustaining us…

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73:23-26)

The following is a playlist of songs that has helped me to focus on Christ during the past two weeks…  May God’s Word, His Spirit, and songs of praise and remembrance minister to your heart and soul as well.

  funeral songs 5 (2)

 

Song Title

Artist

CD Title

In Christ Alone

Keith & Kristyn Getty

In Christ Alone

Still My Soul

Keith & Kristyn Getty

Awaken the Dawn

Compassion Hymn

Keith & Kristyn Getty

Awaken the Dawn

When Trials Come

Keith & Kristyn Getty

Awaken the Dawn

Benediction
(May the Peace of God)

Keith & Kristyn Getty

Awaken the Dawn

The Power of the Cross

Keith & Kristyn Getty

Worship Forever

How Deep the Father’s Love

This Hope

Final Destination

I Can Only Imagine

Mercy Me

Almost There

Homesick

Mercy Me

Undone

Bring the Rain

Mercy Me

Coming Up to Breathe

You Never Let Go

Matt Redman

Sing Like Never Before

Love So High

Matt Redman

Sing Like Never Before

You Alone Can Rescue

Matt Redman

Sing Like Never Before

Blessed Be Your Name

Matt Redman

Sing Like Never Before

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)

Matt Redman

10,000 Reasons

Your Grace Finds Me

Matt Redman

Your Grace Finds Me

Let the Peace of God Reign

Hillsong

Shout to the Lord

Pass Me Not

Fernando Ortega

Hymns of Worship

I Will Praise Him Still

Fernando Ortega

Hymns of Worship

Give Me Jesus

Fernando Ortega

Hymns of Worship

Be Thou My Vision

Fernando Ortega

Hymns of Worship

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Fernando Ortega

The Shadow of Your Wings

Sovereign

Chris Tomlin

Burning Lights

All the Way
My Savior Leads Me

Chris Tomlin

Hello Love

I Will Rise

Chris Tomlin

Hello Love

Amazing Grace
(My Chains are Gone)

Chris Tomlin

See the Morning

The Well

Casting Crowns

Come to the Well

I Know You’re There

Casting Crowns

The Altar and the Door

The Word is Alive

Casting Crowns

The Altar and the Door

Praise You In This Storm

Casting Crowns

Lifesong

Always Enough

Casting Crowns

Until the Whole World Hears

Come to Jesus

Chris Rice

Short Term Memories

My Redeemer Lives

Nicole C. Mullen

Redeemer

 
 
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
(Psalm 63:7-8)

His Gentle Hands Hold Me

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My Redeemer Lives
(by Nicole C. Mullen)

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well, I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives, yeah

The very same God that spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring the victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives

To take away my shame
And He lives forever, I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive and there’s an empty grave

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer

I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives

I know that, I know that, I know that, I know that
I know my Redeemer lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow

 

I haven’t heard or sung this song in quite some time, but the Lord blessed me with it today, shortly after receiving news of my father’s passing.  All day long, I have felt His gentle nudging and tender whisper to ‘Just focus on Me.’  After listening, singing, and reflecting on the words, I am reminded of God’s sovereignty, His strength when I am weak, and His extravagant love for me in the sacrificing of His Son to pay for my sins.  I am thankful for who He is, what He has done, and how His gentle hands hold me…

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning.
Great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

__________________

Update (4/20):
It shouldn’t be a surprise that my Heavenly Father thought to comfort me in His house Easter morning when I came to worship Him. What song should be sung at the end of service? 

‘My Redeemer Lives’.
The exact same rendition. 

Upon hearing the first line, I burst into tears – flooded with emotions of both grief and joy. 

Thank you, Jesus, for Your gentle hand continuing to hold me. 
Bless The Lord, oh my soul. I worship Your Holy name.  Your love overflows to me.

Because I So Often Forget

It is inevitable.  Our sweet six year old asks me if I can print a coloring sheet for her.  Sounds simple enough.  I quickly say ‘Yes, but right after I switch out this load of laundry.’  As I’m removing the towels from the washing machine and placing them in the dryer, our newly turned four year old runs in and says he needs help with the potty. I rush to his aide (making sure he washes his hands) and then dash back to finish loading the towels.  I step out of the laundry room and I immediately hear, ‘Mommy, did you print my sheet yet?’  Oy.  I am slowly learning that for most requests, I also need to add, ‘You’ll need to remind mommy or I might forget.’  This is just the reality of living life in a busy household.

So, it is no surprise, as I go throughout my day, all these short segments of interaction intertwine… and start to obscure the bigger picture.  The vision, the joy, and the original goals for homeschooling our children tend to fade as I am dealing with the urgency packed within each moment of the day.

That is the main reason why I look forward to attending a yearly homeschool convention.  I used to go to pour over the curriculum and to figure out what we would be using the following year.  Don’t get me wrong – I still do that a little bit, but after 9+ years on this journey, my heart and my mind just simply need to be refreshed, renewed, and reminded of the ‘why’ for homeschooling…again and again.

We recently attended the Teach Them Diligently Convention and here are the titles of some of the workshops I attended…

Stop Wrestling and Start Resting
Experiencing Rest and Renewal
C.H.I.L.L. Out
When Less Is More
How To Be a Yes Mom
Say Goodbye to Survival
Running the Homeschool Marathon
Soaring Beyond Survival

Do you notice a pattern?  I was intent on seeking out ways to be reminded and encouraged to persevere!  Yes, because I forget, and when I forget I tend to feel like I am just surviving each day.  I have been praying that I would move beyond surviving and that the Holy Spirit would help me to bear fruit and to thrive.

 

Some snippets of encouragement from the speakers…

From Carol Barnier:
– Homeschooling is notoriously forgiving and efficient.

From Rachael Carman:
– Give yourself permission to rest and have time with God.  It is not being lazy.  Only worship and God’s Word can nourish your soul.
– When we raise our kids to know Him and make Him known, they will change the world.
– The enemy plants seeds of doubt and feelings of inadequacy…  Do what God calls you to do and do it diligently…Don’t grow weary and lose heart.  Fix your eyes on Jesus.
– Our children need to know that we’re on their team, that we love them, and enjoy them.
– God’s Word is what changes our kids’ hearts through His Holy Spirit.
– Of all the curriculum available, nothing trumps God’s Word.

From Sonya Shafer:
– Being more busy = Less availability for real life
– Keep your children’s love of learning alive so they want to continue learning on their own.
– It is not a question of how much your kids are learning, but who they are becoming.

From Toni Anderson:
– The more you do things together, the greater opportunities you have to get to know your kids and to see how God is shaping them.
– Say yes to those innocent desires of our children’s hearts.
– Don’t miss out on those ‘5 minute moments’.

From Crystal Paine:
– Don’t make an idol out of how much you get done each day.
– Your children are only little once.  Don’t miss the opportunity to slow down, look in their eyes, and invest in them.

From Zan Tyler:
– There is an urgency to this race.  The days are long and often hard, but the years are short.  You can’t reschedule this race for when it is more convenient.  Your kids need you now.

 

Oh, in just four short years, our family went from this… 
DSC_7684 (2) 
to this…
 DSC_2420 (3)
And in another four years we are now…
 DSC_5275 (2)
to this!

Time truly does go by in the blink of an eye and I need to have strength and vision for each day to fulfill the role God has called me to – the mother and teacher of these precious children.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. 
(Isaiah 40:28-31)

 

So, I press on, in the Lord’s strength.  May I continue in prayer, remember to trust Him with everything, be intentional and diligent in pursuing what truly matters, and be determined to persevere.  Lord Jesus, please remind me of these things – because I so often forget.

Let Me Grow

God never ceases to surprise me how He can use our children to draw me closer to Himself and to refine me.   Here is just one example of an area He has been working on…

Let Me Grow

( Oh, why yes – It is set to the tune of Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’.   And, no– You won’t be hearing me actually sing it out loud. Be thankful 😉 )

Let Me Grow
(A Mother’s Prayer)

The harsh words in this household right now
Not a loving thought to be heard
A mother in desperation
With so little time in His Word

The words are flowing like a dam broken wide
Don’t know what to do, heaven knows I’ve tried

Don’t let them in, I need to see
Read his Word and get down on my knee
Reveal and heal, I need to know
We all need to know

Let me grow, let me grow
Can’t wait anymore
Let me grow, Let me grow
I’m running to God’s Word

I don’t care
What they’re going to see
Let the tears flow down
I can’t do this on my own anyway

It’s funny how some verses
Help me see how far I fall
and the rage that once controlled me
Is replaced with love when I call

It’s time to dig deep in the Truth
To test my thoughts and be renewed
No fear, no doubt, just joy to see
I’m free

Let me grow, let me grow
I am safe in the Father’s hand
Let me grow, Let me grow
Trusting Christ is in His plan

Here I stand
and here I’ll pray
May you strengthen me

His Word is living, active, sharper than a spear
I hear His Spirit whispering gently to me in my ear
And one thought -You’re forgiven- comes to me so fast
Speak tenderly to them
Only My Words last

Let me grow, let me grow
And I’ll reach out and embrace
Let me grow, Let me grow
To share His love and grace

Here I stand
in the light of Truth
the battle’s won
May I speak Words of Life to our kids today

 

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