Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving (Psalm 103)

"Jake could sleep anywhere"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Each year we try to remember to give thanks for our blessings at Thanksgiving.  It's been a tradition in the USA since the pilgrims first came to North America.  We lost our cat, "Jake" this year.  He had 6 toes on his front paws and an amazing personality.  We are so grateful we got to have him for so long.  We still have the other white cat, he snores... Really he does.  Sometimes it's good to be thankful for the stuff we've had and not just the stuff we want.

This is my favorite Thanksgiving Psalm.

Psalm 103

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits: 
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies5 Who satisfies your mouth with good thingsSo that your youth is renewed like the eagle's

6 The Lord executes righteousness

And justice for all who are oppressed
7 He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel. 
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame
He remembers that we are dust. 
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children's children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them. 
19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all

20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure

22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul! 


Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank You for your patience with us and your never-ending love.  I pray You will bless us all with creative ways to serve You.  You've given all of us a bit of talent.  Please be present with those who don't have much this year, those who are living in fear, struggling to survive. I pray for peace and safety. 
In Jesus Name, Amen.

My favorite Thanksgiving song-  Thanks Matt!
Matt Redman, 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) (link)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Our hearts are with Paris (Psalm 91)

"Paris is in our hearts, books, and dreams in the USA"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

This is the song that came to mind as I thought of the horrors in Paris.  
Sarah McLachlan and Josh Groban, Arms of the Angels (link)

Our hearts are broken for the French.  Paris is the place we dream of visiting from the USA.  

This is one of my favorite Psalms.

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.
(Psalms 91:1-16 NKJV)

Heavenly Father, we are perplexed and some despairing.  I pray You will bring hope, encouragement, and peace to France.  Heal their nation Father and their people, as only You can.  Cast out the enemy, and send the Angels.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)