Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My refuge

I love this Psalm.  It describes God as our fortress- our mighty Protector.  We definitely need protection : )

Psalm 144

In these verses the word "my" is repeated.  The description of God as our Rock, and a Mighty Fortress is in many of the beautiful old hymns.

1 Blessed be the Lord my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle — 
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.

We sang the verses below quite a bit in college, there were hand motions too.  I'm not so good with the hand motion stuff...  When we accept Christ as our Savior, and the sacrifice for our sin, we become His.  So it makes sense that He is ours.  It's a love relationship.  It reminded me of these verses-
4 He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.

16 My beloved is mine, and I am his.
He feeds his flock among the lilies.
Song of Solomon 2:4, 16 NKJV
Who am I?  This question has been asked for centuries.  God is so perfect and so awesome, why would He bother with us.  We fuss and fret, fight and love, hope and fail.  Yet we are His creations- His works of art.  As an artist I know what it is to keep re-working a painting until it's right.  He never gives up- we are His.  It's all about Him, He loves us that much.
3 Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?
4 Man is like a breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

My husband and I watched a DVD about creation.  Every detail on earth is so scientifically perfect, such a masterpiece.  Ice crystals are perfect in symmetry and shape, birds have a cooling system built into their bodies so they can breath while flying long distances.  Our God loves beauty, perfection, and intricate detail.  It's interesting that He is revealing so much to us these days.  We finally have the tools to understand so much more.  Even lightening brings necessary elements to make soil fertile.
5 Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6 Flash forth lightning and scatter them;
Shoot out Your arrows and destroy them.
7 Stretch out Your hand from above;
Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,
From the hand of foreigners,
8 Whose mouth speaks lying words,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

9 I will sing a new song to You, O God;
On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,
10 The One who gives salvation to kings,
Who delivers David His servant
From the deadly sword.

I try to sing new songs to God.  For my morning prayers, I went through the Love Chapter- 1 Corinthians 13 and pulled out the definition of love.  Then I wrote the definitions in a list so I could pray better- instead of random thoughts, or a memorized prayer.  I take the main words and then apply them to each day.  You can see some of my weaknesses in this list- focus isn't easy!  Letting go of harsh words isn't either.  Remembering I am more than a mind and taking care of my health is also a weakness.  I also pray little prayer snippets all day.   Here's my overall list, how I pray varies depending on what's going on- some of my thoughts are in parenthesis-

  • Today!  (Help me focus on today)
  • Heal my creativity, me  (Heal my creativity and all the memories of those who've said I can't do it)
  • Freelance (Help me focus on my work today, forgive me for getting sidetracked)
  • Perspective on time  (Help me use my time wisely, it slips by so fast!)
  • Health  (Guide me to take care my body)
  • Dreams  (Help me dream dreams that align with Your will for me, Your overall plan)
  • Friends  (Lead me to new friends and help me remember my old friends)
  • Healthy things (Help me to remember to participate in healthy things not things that don't please You)
  • Family, nation  (specific requests about my family- please heal my brother, help our country get on track)
  • Finances  ( bless us financially Father, and guide me to good work)
  • Don't give up  (help me not to give up)
  • See needs of others  (help me not to be selfish but see the needs of others)
  • Contentment  (Help me know You are in control so I can be content)
  • Be myself- the me God made me to be  (help me be myself and not try and be someone else)
  • Keep track of sins  (Help me not to keep track of the sins of others- so I can forgive like You do.)
  • Pleasure in truth  (Help me find pleasure in the truth as it's revealed.)
  • Trust God  ( Help me trust You)
  • See the best  (Help me see the best)
  • Dwell on the past  (not dwell on the past)
  • Keep going to the end  (to keep going to the end)
  • Church (to be a part of Church)
  • Unforced rhythms of grace (to be a part of the unforced rhythms of grace and not make things too difficult)
  • Praises 
11 Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners,
Whose mouth speaks lying words,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood — 

What we do today and pass on to the next generations really matters.
12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth;
That our daughters may be as pillars,
Sculptured in palace style;
13 That our barns may be full,
Supplying all kinds of produce;
That our sheep may bring forth thousands
And ten thousands in our fields;
14 That our oxen may be well laden;
That there be no breaking in or going out;
That there be no outcry in our streets.

Amen!  When I am centered on the Lord in the morning- my days go much better.  I find peace and the safety of His mighty fortress protecting me.  My refuge who calms my soul and helps me have courage to face the battles and joys of each day.  But time of day doesn't matter anytime is good for God. : )
15 Happy are the people who are in such a state;
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!


  1. Karen, I may copy your prayer list down actually...you have covered so many vitally important things that I often would never even think about! Thank you for sharing your faith like this. It helps and is beautiful to read.

  2. Feel free to copy it Colleen! I'd be honored. Knowing I'm helping makes it all worthwhile : ) God bless!

  3. Hi Karen,
    Whenever I feel unfocused or disconnected I write lists. Two of my three girls do this also. It helps to regain some focus and devise a plan for now. I will write a prayer list similar to yours as I feel inspired by it. I have only written out prayer lists for other people before; this will be the first just for me and at a time when I really need this. Thank You & God Bless.

  4. I'm so glad it's helped. I always find strength in it. I'm always doing lists and diagrams. We have so much in common Lisa : ) God bless!