25 July 2011

Multitude Monday - 1000 Gifts

"The days of our lives are seventy years;
 And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, 
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
 For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
 Return, O LORD!

How long?
And have compassion on Your servants.

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
         That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.

Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory to their children.
 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us,

And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands."
(Psalm 90:10-17)

Have you ever heard someone say to look for what God is doing around you... and then focus your efforts in that direction? I have... in fact, I've said it myself! One of the most powerful (for me as I prepared) Bible studies I've ever taught looked at Christ's first public miracle... changing the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Jesus' mother asked him to help when the wine was finished, the disciples were there watching, but it was the servants that first knew what He had done. Now, every time I read through that biblical account, the phrase, "but the servants knew" always leaps off the page, searing my heart, because reality? I don't need to always "be in the know." I need to always be focused on obedience because obedience, whether I understand all the reasons and details, will likely open my eyes or focus my attention on the things that God is doing.

I've been meditating on Psalm 90 the past few days, in particular verse 17, specifically the word "establish." When I looked it up in Strong's Concordance, one of the meanings of the original Greek for the word translated establish was "to be erect, to stand perpendicular." Additional renderings include make certain, confirm, direct, fashion, fasten, to perfect... 

...which has led me to the following still bumbling thoughts - certainly not a sure conclusion- mulling around in my heart and mind.
When I'm an obedient servant doing what I know He wants me to do, not only will I best see what God is in the midst of doing, but as I jump on board and, in willing obedience seek to join Him in His work, I have the hope that He will make my efforts stand, He will perfect the work of my hands... I don't have to understand everything or feel confident in my capacity - I do need to know that I am an obedient servant.
this week's gratitude list
(#s 1342 - 1371)

kids giddy over the gecko who has taken up residence in our living room... they watch him run, eat up those 'skeeters, squeel that he stays safe and out of the fans; I just listen, amused and amazed and hope he doesn't lose his grip on the ceiling right above me... or whatever is cooking on the stove!

watching the director's cut of "Papa was a Preacher" - with the director!

dehydrated strawberries for strawberry shortcake - and the shortcake was made by Anna and Tori

watching a grinning Jonathan perform "the Buzzard's Lope" (you'd have to see the play... or watch the video)

cool breezes

homemade cough syrup

mornings with nowhere to go... no place to be... but home

clean closets

time to talk and visit with one of the pastors from our home church... one of the pastors we didn't really feel like we knew very well

five-fingered shoes

bandaids to cover blisters

crockpot rice pudding

homemade, whole wheat bread

finally finishing all of the handwash

going to bed with all of the dishes clean

anticipating a picnic

finally hearing the plane land

sister and niece sleeping just down the hallway

closing my eyes and drifting off into that deep sleep of delight and utter exhaustion

girls brushing long locks and chattering away while they do

overcoming inertia, even when I don't want to

hoping to see hippos - from a safe distance

scheming plans for fun

homemade pita bread - still shocked it actually worked

listening to the music of crickets and toads and gentle rain falling

the fluttering and flapping of the curtains as the breeze finally blows, lovely coolness drops through the window of our bedroom, and sleep changes from fitful to sound and deep

stormy skies and lightening shows

plentiful avocadoes... at least for a few days

checking the last obligatory thing off the list for the night - and hearing my pillow call


  1. Hi Richelle - I'm visiting from Ann's blog. I enjoyed reading your gratitude list and your thoughts on obedience.


  2. Joan,

    Thanks for visiting and for encouraging words!



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